IBJNews

ISO, musicians still far apart in negotiations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Union representatives for Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians are spilling more details about negotiations with ISO management, which is planning major structural changes to address the orchestra's ongoing financial issues.

The ISO, one of only 17 full-time orchestras in the nation, is proposing shifting to part-time status as part of a plan to address the longstanding problems.

Proposals have changed slightly since Tuesday, when IBJ first reported on the ISO’s proposed cutbacks, but the sides are still far apart on the big issues.

According to a blog launched by the musicians Thursday morning to provide updates on contract negotiations, ISO management wants to take the following cost-cutting measures:

- Reduce the ISO schedule from 52 weeks a year to 38 weeks.

- Reduce the 87 musicians to 63. Fourteen would be terminated, effective Monday.

- Cut annual salaries 41.5 percent.

- Change retirement benefits from pensions to 403(b) contribution plans.

The musician's union said it is willing to take a 13.9-percent pay cut and 14 weeks of unpaid furloughs over the contract’s five years, the blog says. It says those concessions amount to $3.8 million over the contract.

Negotiators have until Sunday night to reach a consensus on musicians’ contracts before the collective bargaining agreements expire on Labor Day.

Rick Graef, chairman of the union's negotiating committee, said both sides seemed intent on meeting the deadline, but they are especially held up on the schedule of cutbacks and layoffs.

The ISO said it won’t comment on the discussions until there is an agreement.

Administrators have asked for the concessions as the organization has tried to correct ongoing financial issues. The past three fiscal years have finished with million-dollar deficits.

If negotiators reach their deadline with no agreement, they can either agree to extend the current contract until there is a deal or they can declare an impasse.

Both sides have said they hope to reach an agreement.

"We're still negotiating. We're still in good faith at the table," Graef said. "... We're still hoping it will happen, but time's running out."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • since I moved here
    I have seen so much that attracted me to Indy go down hill. Just look at the shabby condition of the Indy Parks, which were great and still could/should be shining. Not that good things aren't happening, but these BIG and very visible downgrades portent nothing good. You know, some of us aren't impressed in the least that a huge football game came to town, but we are impressed with the orchestra and other extraordinary arts. Just this spring the IRT impressed my Washington DC visitors who said the Helen Keller play (Miracle Worker) rivaled anything they have seen at The Kennedy Center. Indy subsidizes spectator sports in many and expensive ways, but the arts are arguably even more important. Part time orchestra, what's that sports term, oh yeah, bush league.
  • I AGREE Mr.Evans
    I was born and raised in Indy,moved away pursuing my career which involved living in 4 other states and traveling to countless cities on business including NYC,LA,Houston,Miami,Chicago,and Charlotte. I returned in 2006 when I retired. I was amazed at the growth and transformation that had taken place! When I left and folks asked me where I was from I sheepishly said ...Oh, Indianoplace.Laughter always followed. Yes...The Colts add a critical facet to our image and identity. But the Cultural transformation and all the work that made this a Beautiful City made me Proud. I have been honored to attend IRT,IMA,and the ISO. Concert on the Prairie rivals a similar venue in Northbrook (Chicago). You have to look at ISO in the context of what the Total Value Added is to the citizens and to the City of Indianapolis and how it enables us to compete with other Cities for new business and investment. Can you imagine an Indianapolis Business Development team meeting with a major corporation evaluating Indianapolis as a potential site for their new corporate headquarters.....and we say...."Ohhh...uhhh...and we USED to have an Orchestra.." I also believe Mr.Evans touched on a critical factor that must be addressed. This organization must be Marketed, Advertised, Promoted and continuously developed. Do you have a Strategic Business Development Plan ? Have you asked for the input of all the stakeholders ? Have you asked for the Citizens input?....I have worked with Executive Teams of Fortune 200 companies throughout my career. I have learned the painful truth that any mediocre executive can chop heads and slash costs. Only Leaders can Build Powerful Organizations
  • Where does "Happy" go on my balance sheet?
    A question for John R Thornburgh, Ice-Miller, the ISO Board Chairman. Where do "happy" and "opportunity costs" and "indirect revenue" and the value of a city's stature go on my balance sheet? Just wondering. I own a small company, we give our team the two weeks before Christmas off to maybe work from home and be with their families. Wreaks havoc with my P & L and my balance sheet...but it brings immeasurable value to my little company (Four of us are working this weekend on an RFP for a new project...money can't buy that, I'm sorry). True "value" can't be measured the way you're trying to measure the value of the Indianapolis Symphony to the city and its residents. In addition to its absolute necessity as part of the Indy art scene and Indianapolis' and Indiana's stature as real places to live and do business (the value of which you can't measure with any algorithm that I know of), the ISO is part of an arts-centered industry that brings $386 million dollars a year to Indianapolis (and more than double that to the State of Indiana). So before you cut off your feet to save money on shoes, I suggest you look at the value of the ISO to this city and this state that can't be measured by you and your bean counters. The bottom line looks a lot better from there, though it does take some imagination to see it. Fact is, you're trying to cut ten million dollars from a budget that only requires about three million to be cut...$3.8 million of which the ISO musicians have offered by way of concessions and furloughs. One final, frank question: how does someone get a board position on a major orchestra who so clearly doesn't understand what a major orchestra is, what it does or how it contributes to its community beyond the bottom line? We don't want to be Louisville, Buffalo, Columbus or Detroit who have tried your "solution" and found it lacking. Look to Pittsburgh. Look to Cleveland. And then get YOUR act together. This symphony has been mismanaged for decades, the marketing has been abysmal, there is no Development department, there is no CEO at present, there is no Marketing Director and there's effectively been no Music Director since Maestro Leppard. To say that the musicians have to bear the brunt of this is ludicrous and Indianapolis and its symphony deserve better from you and yours.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

    2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

    3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

    4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

    5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

    ADVERTISEMENT