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EdFringe: BECTU agrees new code on employment practices

10 August 2018

Edinburgh Fringe employers have a new Code of Conduct for Good Employment Practices after negotiations between BECTU and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

The new code has been published this week after discussions between BECTU, the only recognised union for UK arts and theatre workers, and the Fringe Society.

The code covers engagement of workers, hours of work, pay rates, scheduling of work and health and safety. It follows on from a joint code of conduct, encouraging employers to pay the Real Living Wage, which was published two years ago.

Paul McManus, BECTU's negotiations officer fo Scotland, said: “Every year I receive a variety of queries, concerns and complaints from members arriving in Edinburgh to work during the Fringe and we have even pursued legal action against employers on various issues but these are all on an individual basis.

“Equally, anonymous surveys may well highlight the problems but in an employment environment the only way to make real improvements is for the workers to come together with BECTU and to tackle any problems on a collective basis directly with the employers concerned.”

Employers invited to engage

In June, McManus attended the Fringe Society’s venue operators meeting and set out BECTU’s ambitions for improving the Fringe Experience for workers. Employers were given an open invitation to engage with BECTU in constructive dialogue on the issues that arise.

Meetings will take place between BECTU officials and the Fringe Society once the Fringe has finished to continue discussing workers concerns that have arisen and how they can be addressed.

BECTU also welcomes the efforts from the Fair Fringe campaign to improve the working conditions of Fringe workers.

BECTU wants to hear from Fringe workers

BECTU now needs to hear directly from any worker or groups of workers who feels they are not being treated properly or fairly so that we can continue the work of taking specific issues to the employers directly. It does not matter where you work. If you work in a Fringe Venue then BECTU is the recognised union with the expertise to help you.

Contact Paul McManus.

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