26 January 2018
A cost of living pay offer to members at Glyndebourne was accepted by a majority of 84% earlier this month in an email ballot.
The 2.5% increase was presented to the branch by Sarah Hopwood, chief operating officer, as an award which sought to “recognise the fantastic artistic success achieved this year ” against a financially challenging backdrop.
Less positive however were the negotiations on management's plan, announced in October 2017, to close the stage door keeper role in favour of a reorganisation which would see current duties assumed by customer service coordinators on rotation. Technological developments such as automated phone systems, user dial extensions and emails instead of post were all cited to justify the loss of the role.
Whilst accepting that the workload had reduced, making it possible to consider a reduction in headcount, BECTU defended the post of stage door keeper as a focused, specialist role that was company-facing not customer-facing and that needed to be delivered by continuously engaged, dedicated individuals “acting as a mix of 5 star concierges and school matrons”.
The support from members for the colleagues affected was heartfelt and practical:
“We know it is difficult to quantify the experience you get at Stage Door but we believe firmly that what a knowledgeable stage door keeper can do in speeding things up, calming things down, making working at Glyndebourne enjoyable and memorable, does eventually translate, invisibly but critically, to the bottom line,” the branch reps wrote to management.
Regrettably, the company's proposal was implemented and a four month review of the restructure, set to conclude at the end of April 2018, is now underway. Sadly the branch has said farewell to two much valued members of the team.
Negotiations over a restructuring of the hours worked by Stage and Running Wardrobe are ongoing.
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