Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra management says it has offered a new deal to the ISO musicians. However, the head talker of the musicians union negotiating with ISO is scratching his head Tuesday.
Richard Graef says he doesn‘t understand why ISO has publicly announced that it has “workable solution” on a new contract offer when the union already rejected it. ISO announced a five-year deal that pays musicians $53,000 in the first year of the contract, with increases to $70,000 by year five.
The offer also includes a 38- to 42-week schedule; and an orchestra size of 74. The orchestra currently has 72 musicians. ISO says it‘s giving the union until this Saturday, October 6th to accept the deal.
However, Graef says the union rejected the offer prior to ISO‘s announcement and he doesn‘t understand what‘s going on. Graef says the five-year offer includes a contract termination clause at the end of the third year which the union will not accept. He says they might be able to accept the offer otherwise, but won‘t go along with the termination clause.
Graef says both sides are set to return to the negotiating table Friday morning. ISO has been struggling with a multi-million dollar budget gap which Graef says the union is trying to help address. Calls to ISO management haven‘t been returned as of yet.
If the musicians were to accept the deal, the ISO will pay the musicians the full annual salary under the contract with no reductions due to the concerts which have already been canceled. The musicians’ health care benefits will also be reinstated to September 3.