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Narrow vote to accept ENO pay award

26 March 2018

BECTU members at the English National Opera have voted by a narrow margin to accept a pay award for 2018/19. Management has been advised that the ballot result points to simmering unrest at the venue which can only be addressed by 'real changes and improvements to working conditions'.

In the ballot result which closed last week members voted by 51% in favour to 49% against to accept the following pay offer:

For all BECTU graded staff on permanent, seasonal and fixed term contracts (excluding staff covered by the increases to the London Living Wage):

  • £375 consolidated increase to base salary from 1 April 2018
  • One off £250 non-consolidated payment in July 2018
  • £375 consolidated increase to base salary from 1 August 2018 

For all other casuals (excluding staff covered by the increases to the London Living Wage):

  • 1 % consolidated increase to base rate from 1 April 2018
  • 1 % consolidated increase to base rate from 1 April 2019

For staff who are covered by the commitment to pay the LLW they will receive the increase as declared each November by the Living Wage Foundation on 1 April 2018 and 1 April 2019. There will be no backdating of any of the above increases.

Reporting the ballot result to members, Helen Ryan, assistant national secretary, said:

"I have advised management that members have voted to accept the offer. I have also flagged to the management to appreciate that the narrow vote to accept the pay offer demonstrates the unrest amongst the membership and that real changes and improvements to working conditions in some departments must be achieved in the T&C [terms and conditions] review. The pay parity process will also continue."

The agreement is also underpinned by an acceptance that in the event that CPI in August 2018 is higher than 3% (current rate) ENO will agree to re-open pay negotiations on the above offer.

Concession on stage department hours too

Concerns from stage departments about the number of 60 hour weeks being worked have also been heard. Thanks to the agreement on the pay award, stage department hours will be capped at 220 hours per four-week period.

Wider terms & conditions review continues

The wider review of contractual terms and conditions started earlier this year, including grading and pay parity, will continue. The aim of the review is to "ensure that ENO management and BECTU mutually agree the best possible terms and that employment contracts are fit for purpose for the coming years."

The aim is to conclude the review by the autumn and members will be consulted separately on the outcome of those discussions.

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