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Philharmonic Staff Members Face Pay Cut or Wage Freeze

October 26, 1991|DIANE HAITHMAN and TRACY WOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will cancel some of its programs in outlying communities and require its 70 administrative employees to take 3% to 5% pay cuts or have their wages frozen as a result of reduced financial support from the Music Center's fund-raising organization, officials said Friday.

The cuts and freezes, which take effect Jan. 1, do not affect the orchestra's musicians, whose contracts are negotiated through the musicians' professional union.

The Philharmonic already has laid off 15 full-time employees and 20 part-time workers, including Hollywood Bowl maintenance personnel, and earlier this month announced that it will cease publication of "Upbeat," a magazine it sent to subscribers.

"Right now we're in a complete analysis of every event we do," in outlying communities, said Stanley Beyer, Philharmonic board chairman. No cuts will be made in the Philharmonic's regular winter or summer programs, he said, but some special programs performed in outlying communities may have to be canceled.

"We're now looking into all of them in depth . . . to determine where we can make additional cuts because we're bound and determined to have a balanced budget," Beyer said.

The Music Center's fund-raising organization, the Unified Fund, erroneously announced in July that it had met its 1991-92 fund-raising goal of $17.6 million. It later determined that it fell $1.3 million short.

In addition, officials announced Thursday that as a result of fund-raising problems caused by the recession, all of the resident performing arts companies in 1992-93 would have to absorb a 15% reduction in anticipated financial aid from the center.

Beyer said the Philharmonic will receive about $800,000 less than expected during the current budget year, forcing the salary cuts and freezes.

Employees earning more than $60,000 a year must take a 5% pay cut; anyone making between $40,000 and $60,000 will take a 3% cut, and employees earning less than $40,000 will find their wages frozen, officials said.

"All staff members, no exceptions, will be taking pay cuts, including Mr. (Ernest) Fleischmann," the Philharmonic's managing director, a spokeswoman said. Fleischmann's 1989-90 salary was $286,577, according to state tax records. Records for the current year are not available and Philharmonic officials declined to release Fleischmann's present salary.

In February, the Philharmonic laid off three or four workers, Beyer said, because "times were getting rougher . . . and we were trying to get trimmer."

In recent weeks, in anticipation of reductions in its current budget, about a dozen more full-time employes were laid off.

It costs about $34 million a year to run the Philharmonic, Beyer said, with roughly 68% of the funds coming from ticket sales and the rest from the Music Center's fund-raising organization, Philharmonic support groups, private foundations and a small amount from government grants.

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