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Bravo to the Musicians of Indianapolis

by Paul Austin - GRS Horn


Last month it was announced that the musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, represented by AFM Local 3, have reached a three-year agreement with the ISO.


This is impressive for many reasons.


- The current contract had one more year before expiring, so the concept of settling early that was seen recently in the Kansas City Symphony also occurred with the ISO.


- The new contract includes pay raises totaling 9.3% over the life of the contract, advancing the annual salary of their section players from $70,000 to $76,500.


- The number of full time positions will be increased by two, bringing the size of the ISO from 74 to 76 musicians.


- The retirement benefit remains unchanged, as do the number of work weeks.


- The issues regarding scheduling were addressed in order to provide greater work relief for musicians, which will keep them healthier and in turn protect the ISO’s artistic product.


"The Musicians are pleased that this new contract will enable us to continue to bring great music to the people of Indianapolis and beyond in the years to come,” said Brian Smith, chair of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Committee. “After recent concessionary contracts, we are encouraged that the Orchestra is moving in a positive direction. We thank the ISO’s management and board for their efforts in obtaining an early agreement, and we look forward to a bright future for the ISO.” 


In recent years, the history of ISO negotiations has been rocky. However, the new contract is the latest in a string of positive developments for the ISO following a financial crisis in 2012. The Orchestra reported three straight years of budget surpluses, beginning in fiscal year 2013, with double digit growth in ticket sales and fundraising up over 50 percent from 2012-13. Last November, as part of a $100 million grant for the Indianapolis arts, Lilly Endowment made a $10 million gift to the ISO to help position the institution for future financial stability.


GRSMA sends a hearty congratulations to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's musicians for their new contract, which will take them through the 2019-20 season. 

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