Symphony, musicians resuming labor negotiations

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s management and musicians unexpectedly agreed to meet Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to reach an agreement on a new labor contract.

Their current deal expired Sunday, and the two sides weren’t expected to meet again until mid-September.

The two sides are set to resume negotiations at about noon primarily because “we were able to arrange our schedules to fit this in,” Richard Graef, chairman of the ISO musicians’ negotiating committee, said Wednesday morning.

The musicians’ union is proposing a one-year deal “that will allow us to take a step back and make sure we take our time,” Graef said, before agreeing to a longer-term deal.

ISO management wants to reduce the ISO’s schedule from 50 weeks to 38 weeks and reduce musician pay by 40 percent while cutting the orchestra’s size from 87 positions to 69.

Management has given the union until Sept. 7 to accept the steeper cuts or risk cancellation of the frist two weeks of the orchestra's season.

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