ISO players' latest proposal and management response 

click to enlarge ISO musicians Jack Brennan (left) and Rick Graef - SARAH KATE CHAMNESS
  • ISO musicians Jack Brennan (left) and Rick Graef
  • Sarah Kate Chamness

At last--a bit of additional news from from the ongoing, protracted Indiana Symphony Society / ISO Players' Union negotiations. The following statements are provided by the union, a branch of the American Federation of Musicians. This was released at 7:20 p.m., Sept. 7.

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"The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Musicians announced today that after a series of negotiations to settle on a new contract, they have proposed a two- month contract extension to keep the music on the stage.

"Last week, the Symphony Society threatened to cancel the Classical season opener on September 14th and 15th with Krzysztof Urbański and the Pops season opener on September 21-23 with Jack Everly and Time for Three if the musicians did not agree to their demands by today.

" 'This week, working with a mediator, the musicians and the society have made some progress,' said Richard Graef, chairman of the ISO musicians negotiating committee. 'This proposed two-month contract extension will keep the music on stage for the people of Indiana and allows for a period where we 'play and talk,' which has occurred in previous contract negotiations with the Society. It is unprecedented for the musicians to offer concessions during the 'play and talk' period.'

"As set forth in the proposed contract extension, the musicians would play at a weekly rate of $1250, which is 16.7 percent lower than their current weekly rate.

"Since 2003, the concessions made by the ISO musicians in their contracts have saved the Society more than $7 million.

"The musicians also have provided 15 dates between September 13 and November 8, 2012 to the Society so both parties can continue negotiations.

"Per the request of the mediator, both the musicians and the Society agreed to withhold public comment on the negotiations this week. That period ended today at approximately 5:51 p.m."

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ISO director of communictions Jessica Di Santo responded for the symphony management:

"We were informed of the musicians union's latest proposal just before 6 p.m. this evening -- and apparently the same time it was sent to the news media. We haven't yet had sufficient time to analyze it and informed the union that we will respond tomorrow."

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Di Santo stated that she will share the results of management's decision as soon as it is made available. This blog will correspondingly be updated.

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