This just in from the ISO...

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Musicians Ratify New Three-Year Contract

New agreement positions ISO for continued financial stability

while maintaining a year-round schedule of concerts

INDIANAPOLIS The Indiana Symphony Society, Inc. and the musicians of the Indianapolis Musicians, Local #3 of the American Federation of Musicians, have agreed to a new three-year contract, effective this season and expiring on Sept. 2, 2012. Ratified October 4, 2009, the new agreement will result in substantial savings for the ISO and is a critical component in stabilizing the Orchestra's financial operations.

The terms of the new contract include a 12% reduction in salaries for the first year, with an increase by 2.7% for the second year and 7.8% in the third year. In addition, ISO musicians agreed to greater individual contributions toward health care benefits and a limited reduction in their pension earnings. This new contract represents approximately $4 million in savings to the ISO during the next three years.

"The ISO musicians are to be commended for understanding the financial difficulties the Orchestra is facing," said Simon Crookall, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. "I am grateful for the extraordinary amount of effort and commitment it took to arrive at this point, and I recognize the sacrifices the musicians and staff are all making to get through this challenging economic time together."

Along with the new agreement for ISO musicians, the Orchestra has taken steps to proactively reduce additional operating expenses in this new fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2009-Aug. 31, 2010). Effective in October, 2009, the President and CEO will take a 15% cut in salary; ISO vice presidents will take a 10% reduction in pay; and the remainder of ISO staff will take a 5% cut in salary. Approximately $2 million will be saved with these and cuts within other departmental expenses in addition to the savings from the musicians' contract. During the previous fiscal year, the ISO eliminated a total of 13 administrative positions and trimmed its operational, marketing and development budgets to save the organization approximately $1.7 million.

"We've arrived at an important moment at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, when the musicians and management team have shared their mutual desire to see the Orchestra succeed in this tough economic climate," said Bob Kaspar, Chairman of the ISO Board of Directors. "The actions and decisions made as a result of the new contract, albeit significant, are not enough to erase the current or future operating deficits at the ISO. Additional support from the community will be necessary in both annual gifts as well as significant contributions to our own foundation to stabilize the ISO's short term financial situation and reduce our foundation draw rate to a sustainable level in the long run. The next two years will be critical in making progress toward all of our financial goals."

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