the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

25 July 2012

The recognition agreement at the Royal Opera House (ROH) will extend to freelances working in technical departments with effect from 1 September 2012.

The conclusion of this year's review talks, endorsed by members earlier this month, means that freelances will benefit from future pay reviews and will have greater clarity about their entitlement to statutory holidays and sickness benefit.

Several long-standing freelances with service in excess of four years will be offered permanent contracts which, if accepted, will entitle these staff to the full benefits of the collective agreement.

In addition, thanks to this year's talks, all freelances employed in September 2011 will benefit from the 2011 pay award. An increase of 1.5 per cent will be backdated to September 2011.

House pay increase for 2012-13

In general terms, staff and freelances will see their pay rates rise by 2 per cent from 1 September 2012. However, staff currently earning below the London Living Wage of £8.30 ph will benefit from a 3 per cent increase. This last provision is expected to benefit front of house staff.

Gerry Morrissey, BECTU general secretary explained:

"We have set down some important markers in this year's talks which have been trailed by our officials in previous years."

"Freelances, who contribute a great deal to the success of the ROH whether they work in technical departments or in wigs or wardrobe, are now covered by the recognition agreement."

"We have also secured a decent pay increase for all staff and whatismore we are making further progress towards having the London Living Wage as the minimum wage at the venue." 

"In what is a difficult time for the arts community generally, we are pleased to have made progress in these areas and thank management for their responses. We are also especially obliged to our members at the ROH and to our local representatives who provide so much support throughout the year."


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