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ISO Stalemate Persists

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is one of many that is looking at cuts to bridge budget gaps. One expert says its not just the economic downturn that has caused money issues.

Still no new contract deal between the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and dozens of unhappy musicians. Both sides were in heavy talks this past weekend. Today kicks off the fifth week of what the musicians‘ union calls “the lockout.”

The union‘s top talker Richard Graef says this is also their fifth month of negotiations. Graef says both sides have agreed to almost everything. However, he says neither side is budging on a contract termination clause.

The clause would allow management to terminate a five-year contract at the end of the third year. However, Graef says there‘s no way the union will agree to such a move.

He says musicians took a 32-percent pay cut in the first year of the contract with significant raises in the final two years – and they consequently need five years without a termination clause.

Graef says they made the decision to help management address budget woes and save $11.4 million over the five year period. However, he says management won‘t budge without the termination clause included and musicians won‘t accept the clause.

Graef says both sides are set to resume talks in a couple of weeks. Comment requests to ISO management haven‘t been returned as of yet.

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