The Board of Directors and Musicians of Orchestra Iowa have ratified a new contract. The three-year collective bargaining agreement between the Orchestra and the Musician’s Protective Union of Cedar Rapids, Local 137 of the American Federation of Musicians was signed August 30, 2013 and will be in effect for the 2013-2016 seasons. The contract includes a twenty-one percent increase in the minimum base wage and an increase in travel stipends to musicians. It also provides flexibility to work rules for the orchestra. “This agreement provides for not only increased compensation and improved working conditions for the musicians, but also the foundation for continuing financial stability and the means to present excellent musicianship and programming to our growing audience,” said Peter Tilly, chair of the Players’ Committee. “At a time when many orchestras in the country are struggling financially, it is reassuring to see Iowa’s strong commitment to the performing arts,” said Orchestra Iowa Board chair Don Thompson. “Because of our growing audience, creative partnerships and entrepreneurial philosophy, Orchestra Iowa has become a national model for regional orchestras. The musicians have been an essential component of that success every step of the way and we believe this contract will allow Orchestra Iowa and its musicians to continue to grow and prosper.”