New deal at National helps low paid

Long running pay talks at the National Theatre have resulted in a significant boost for the lower paid.

Picture of National Theatre

New National Theatre deal (Picture: Tony Scott)

Front of house and catering staff will see their rates increase to a minimum of £7.35 per hour from April 2008, topping the London Living Wage threshold which is currently set at £7.20 per hour.

The percentage increase for these staff over the two year period of the deal (to March 2009) is 17.6%. Looking at a three year period, ushers will see their pay increase by 28%.

For staff outside of front of house and catering, the general increase arising from the 2007/08 pay review will be 3.5%.

The claim for 2008/9, which seeks a pay award of RPI plus 1% together with improvements to pension provision, has been submitted but talks will be delayed due to the current focus on implementation of the agreement on Sunday opening.

Formal agreement on the new front of house and catering rates and on the general increase for 2007/8 follows a packed meeting of BECTU branch members last Thursday 15 May. The decisions mark the end of protracted talks which have seen local representatives increase membership on the strength of the claim for real improvements for the lowest paid.

Commenting on the agreement, BECTU Supervisory Official Willy Donaghy said: “Our representatives at the National deserve every congratulation for their commitment to the task; their leadership has strengthened the branch and has resulted in a pay agreement which is meaningful for all staff and particularly for the lowest paid.

“The whole branch is applauded for their patience, understanding and support while negotiations took place.”

Wednesday 21 May 2008