Philharmonic management and musicians agree on contract

Scott Terrell conducts the Lexington Philharmonic and the Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble.

Scott Terrell conducts the Lexington Philharmonic and the Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble.

While the 2013-14 Lexington Philharmonic season started in the midst of a labor dispute, the 2014-15 season will open Saturday with a new agreement in place between the orchestra management and musicians union.

The two parties were expected to sign a new contract Friday at the Singletary Center for the Arts Friday that will  run from Saturday through June 30, 2018.

The last 4-year contract had expired in the Spring of 2012, but disagreements over personnel issues including demotion and dismissal, outside work for musicians and a desire for guaranteed performances by musicians kept the parties in negotiations for more than a year. Prior to last year’s season opening concert, musicians threatened to strike, and a last-minute agreement allowed the concert and season to move forward. The parties resumed negotiations earlier this year.

“Representatives from both sides have been committed to building a greater understanding of the others’ concerns via a recent round of negotiations that began in April 2014 and culminated in successful ratification votes by each party earlier this week,” a joint statement from the Lexington Philharmonic and Local 554-635, American Federation of Musicians said.

According to the release, “the new agreement provides certain guaranteed services to the member musicians of the Lexington Philharmonic accompanied by a minimum attendance policy. A modest increase in the wage scale and stepped increase in mileage reimbursement was also agreed. Procedures for auditions, peer review, substitute engagement and electronic media have been clarified.”

The Philharmonic opens its 2014-15 season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Singletary Center for the Arts with music director Scott Terrell conducting and piano soloist Inon Barnatan performing Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto.

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