INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Another proposal, another rejection. Some say the lockout that’s kept the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra off the stage may now have reached a critical point that could result in some musicians leaving town.
The move comes after the musicians’ union rejected the Symphony Society’s latest offer Friday, then countered with its own. Just one day later, with the deadline still more than 24 hours away, the Symphony Society told 24-Hour News 8 that offer was rejected as well.
It means the month-long lockout at the Hilbert Circle Theater continues, and it may mean another round of cancelled concerts ahead.
It may also mean that orchestra members who have held strong thus far may soon consider taking their talents elsewhere.
As the orchestra gathered to practice at Carmel High School Saturday night, many were hopeful their sixth contract offer since talks began would finally seal the deal.
“This proposal has some very serious concessions,” said ISO French horn player and negotiating committee chairman Richard Graef. “But, we’ve made them in an effort to keep the music going and the orchestra financially stable.”
Source: WISH-TV, Indianapolis
Press release from the Minnesota Orchestra musicians:
BREAKING NEWS: Management Rejects Two Musician Counter Offers
Minneapolis – The management of the Minnesota Orchestra rejected two counter offers by the Musicians today. Musicians have been making counter offers to avoid being locked out at midnight tonight. Management seems determined to lock out the “Greatest Orchestra in the World” as Alex Ross of the New Yorker wrote in 2010.
The first offer to bring to enter binding arbitration to reach a new contract agreement to avoid a lockout of musicians was rejected.
The second offer to “Play and Talk” was also rejected.
Meanwhile, last week the Orchestra management touted $97 million in new fundraising in its Building for the Future Fund. That includes over $50 million for a new lobby at Orchestra Hall including $14 million in taxpayer dollars.
Yesterday, the Musicians voted unanimously to “Play and Talk”, while the two parties continue negotiations. Musicians also unanimously rejected the proposed 30-50 percent pay cuts that management has proposed.
From the Minnesota Star Tribune:
The Minnesota Orchestra is on the brink of its first work stoppage since 1994. Union musicians voted unanimously on Saturday evening to reject what management had described as its final contract offer.
The two sides will meet Sunday to see whether they can resolve the dispute that has grown increasingly acrimonious.
Orchestra CEO Michael Henson said in a statement Saturday night that he was disappointed by the union vote and hoped “the players come with a realistic counterproposal” on Sunday.
Sources close to the negotiations said the union will propose that the two parties go to binding arbitration. If management agrees, the musicians will then make an offer.
In binding arbitration, both sides agree to abide by the ruling of an independent arbitrator.
Absent agreement, management has said it will lock out the musicians when the contract expires at midnight. That means musicians could not report to work and would not receive paychecks.