Officials with the union representing almost 90 Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians says they are offering pay concessions that‘ll help keep the symphony in good fiscal health.
“We do understand that there are financial hurdles that the organization is facing and in light of that, our plan offers $3.2 million in concessions,” Richard Graef, negotiating chairman of the American Federation of Musicians Local 3 in Indianapolis, says.
The union is in the middle of new contract talks with management. Their current three year contract expires September 2nd. Graef says they are proposing voluntary pay cuts of 12.5 percent in the first year of a new contract and including 14 unpaid weeks over a five-year contract.
But Graef says the ISO wants to reduce the number of musicians from 87 to 63, cut pay by 45 percent, reduce the working year from 52 weeks to 36 weeks and drastically reduce their pension. Graef says the move would knock the organization out of the major leagues of among symphony orchestras.
“It reduces classical and pops performances and removes the symphony from a majority of Symphony on the Prairie,” Graef says. “In fact, it‘s our view that their plan would be the end of ISO that the community of Indiana knows and loves.”
Graef says the union will extend talks beyond the contract date if needed.