The Socialist

The Socialist 14 August 2019

Boot out Boris And all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

The Socialist issue 1052

General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: fight for socialism


Far right seen off at Oxford Circus

After the fire: fight for facilities for all

Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!

Dundee: young workers meet

Leeds estate residents push back private development


Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS


TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"


Northern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets

The Peterloo Massacre 1819: When a fearful ruling class tried to crush working-class political aspirations


Fight back against the retail bosses!

Lincolnshire health workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard


Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 

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Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

Equity members on a protest against Universal Credit outside the High Court, 17.7.19, photo by NSSN

Equity members on a protest against Universal Credit outside the High Court, 17.7.19, photo by NSSN   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in Equity

Performing arts union Equity is balloting members who work in subsidised theatre on the deal negotiated with UK Theatre, the representative body for most of the largest publicly subsidised theatre managements.

The main deal is unacceptable. Many members are not happy about it. UK Theatre has offered a measly 2% pay rise in basic rates over the next three years.

This amounts to a cut when taking into account inflation. Members will be working just as hard and taking home less.

There are better increases in touring allowances, and enhancements for extra responsibilities like 'swings' and 'dance captains'.

Members will welcome improvements on maximum hours during rehearsal and minimum breaks between shows, as well as the audition code of conduct for employers.

But beyond this the deal seems to have very few solid agreements. Management is asked to "sympathetically consider any requests for flexible working."

Meanwhile, we are promised "a working party to negotiate a five-day rehearsal week" - Equity will try to negotiate a five-day week only after the three-year deal is signed, sealed and delivered.

What's truly disappointing is that the union actually advises acceptance. How can we expect to get anything out of theatres if we accept deals like this without even voicing opposition?

On the one hand, Equity rightly observes austerity has hit arts subsidy hard. Theatres which claim they will struggle to meet a real increase should open their books to inspection by the union.

And Equity should link its pay claims to campaigning for councils to set legal no-cuts budgets that could protect arts subsidies and force more funding from central government.

But the union also states that "to improve the deal members would have to take industrial action." So is the money there or not?

There is an unspoken assumption that members will not take industrial action. Even junior doctors struck in 2015.

When the deal is taking money out of members' pockets, isn't it worth at least raising the idea with them?

A vote to reject would show the union and management the strength of feeling on this issue so we can put some kind of pressure on UK Theatre.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 12 August 2019 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


What we think

General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: fight for socialism


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Far right seen off at Oxford Circus

After the fire: fight for facilities for all

Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!

Dundee: young workers meet

Leeds estate residents push back private development


News

Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS


Opinion

TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"


Historic events

Northern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets

The Peterloo Massacre 1819: When a fearful ruling class tried to crush working-class political aspirations


Workplace news

Fight back against the retail bosses!

Lincolnshire health workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard


International socialist news and analysis

Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong


 

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