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Philharmonic union ratifies contract

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players Association has voted to ratify a short-term contract with the Philharmonic, union spokesman Campbell MacDonald announced today.

MacDonald said the results of mail-in ballots were tabulated today, and that the union has agreed to reduce the number of paid weeks from 40 to 33, which will result in a 17.5 percent decrease in wages.

MacDonald said union was able to preserve the number of full-time and part-time musicians and healthcare coverage for individuals and their families. The contract will expire in Dec. 2014.

The ratification forges one more step in completing contract talks that started last year before the season started in September, and trudged on for four months after a tentative agreement was reached between negotiating parties in November. The difficult talks have surrounded the organization’s more than $2.3 million deficit that was reported last year.

Philharmonic President and CEO J.L. Nave said the next step in completing the new contract is to have Philharmonic Board of Directors ratify the contract by another vote.

Although the executive board does not have a meeting scheduled until the first Tuesday of March, Nave said the board can take action regarding the ratification sooner.

kcarr@jg.net

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