7 December 2017
If you work in the theatre, outside of London's commercial West End, then here's your chance to influence your future pay. Do take part in a survey being launched today (Thursday 7 December); the results will inform BECTU's negotiations with UK Theatre in 2018.
Running until Wednesday 24 January, the survey is open to all theatre workers outside of London's commercial West End and in the Nations and Regions. The hope is, with theatres being especially busy now for panto season, that response levels will be high.
BECTU is the recognised union for theatre workers and we represent all staff, whatever the contract, whatever the department. The union's collective agreement with employers who are members of UK Theatre covers venues large and small across the UK.
Introducing the survey, Helen Ryan, assistant national secretary, said:
"Whilst the UK Theatre Agreement sets minimum terms for all of the venues it covers, we also negotiate house agreements in the larger venues.
"We're keen therefore to build a more detailed picture of rates by venue and department so that we can negotiate with greater authority on behalf of our members. That said, we're inviting all theatre workers outside of London's West End and in the Nations and Regions to support this survey to help us to gather the most reliable and up to date information.
"This survey is for you whether you're new to your venue or more established and whether you work in the stage departments, front of house, in the box office or in other areas of the theatre. Take part whether you work full-time, part-time or as a casual or freelancer."
For several years now the union has been working to address the challenges facing theatre workers covered by the UK Theatre agreement.
Arts Council cuts, coupled with continuing pressures on local authority budgets, have brought real challenges for theatres and their workforce. However, the union is continuing to support workers, with success is some venues, to achieve fair reward for their work with baseline pay set in line with the real Living Wage.
The last pay survey led by BECTU was run in January 2015 and the negotiations which followed achieved a two-year deal based on a 3% increase in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. The agreement also set up a working party to examine ways to address low pay and to move towards the adoption of the real Living Wage (currently £8.75 outside London).
This year's pay review effective from April 2017 resulted in a 4.2% increase for grades 3, 4 and 5 (supervisors, technicians, admin and clerical, cleaners and trainees) and a 2% increase for grades 1 and 2 (heads of department, deputy heads of department, box office chiefs, head flyman, first wingman) with a 1.8% uplift to some allowances.
Full information on our theatre agreements and rates are online here, subject to member login.
For more information about the current survey, or about joining BECTU, contact Judith Coulthurst.
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Updated 12 December to include job roles covered by the current grading system in the UK Theatre collective agreement.