MU News (April 2017)

I edited and distributed this month’s MU News email to all MU members this afternoon.  This production always receives considerable attention on social media and elements are often shared across the music community.

– Naomi Pohl becomes the Union’s first female Assistant General Secretary
Naomi Pohl has been appointed as MU Assistant General Secretary, Music Industry, and becomes the first female to join the Union’s team of senior officials in the MU’s history. Naomi takes up the post with immediate effect and it follows her previous role with the Union as National Organiser of the Recording & Broadcasting Dept. Naomi says, ‘I’m delighted to be taking on the role of AGS Music Industry. We’ve got an excellent team and hundreds of committed activists across the country so this is a great time to be representing the MU both in the UK and beyond.’

– Music industry lobbies government on ivory ban
You may be aware that due to serious and grave worldwide concerns over the illegal trafficking and trade in ivory, the UK government has stated that they are to introduce a ban on the movement of all ivory. The MU, in partnership with the Association of British Orchestras and the Music Industries Association, has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom MP, seeking an exemption for musical instruments.

Live rates increase with effect from April 2017
The Live Dept is pleased to announce a 3% uplift in its promulgated rates from 1 April. These include National Gig Rate, Accompanist Rate, Casual Stage Rate, Organists & Ceremonies Rate, and Residency Rate.

Join us in supporting live music in Wales
Live music in Wales is under increasingly under threat, and will continue to be so unless planning laws are changed to protect venues from noise complaints. Sign the petition calling for Agent of Change to become law.

MU Pension Scheme (MUPS) update
The Musicians’ Union Pension Scheme has been running successfully in its current format for many years, providing a way for MU members to make and receive pension contributions. There are now over 600 Scheme members and the funds held have totalled more than £13m.

New Emissions Surcharge for London
The Mayor of London has announced that a new Emissions Surcharge will be introduced in London from 23 October 2017. This will mean that vehicles in Central London, that do not meet the required emissions standards, will pay a £10 daily charge in addition to the Congestion Charge.

Performing at a showcase in the US?
Further to the recent reports of several musicians invited to perform at SXSW having their approved ESTA revoked unaccountably by the US authorities days before travel, the MU and British Underground can no longer recommend using ESTA to enter the US to perform at any music showcasing event.

Management Agreement launched for new artists
The Musicians’ Union and Featured Artists Coalition, along with the manager’s body, the Music Managers Forum, have joined forces to create a sample, long form management agreement in response to the often unfair terms found in unchecked contracts brought forward by members of the three organisations.

Your MU: Engage. Network. Learn.
“Your MU” events are a new and unique opportunity to meet your MU North of England officials, network with other members, learn more about the Musicians’ Union and its activities, and get involved in an informal setting.

GFTU Education Programme
The Educational Trust of the General Federation of Trade Unions has announced its most extensive programme since its formation in 1971, including a range of new courses and dynamic curriculum for union activists.

Minimum rates increase for MU/UK Theatre agmt
UK Theatre minimum rates have increased from 3 April, including a touring allowance uplift to £240 pw and mileage up to 26p per mile plus subsistence rate to £161pw. Full details of the increases for 2017/18 are on the MU website.

Success at TUC Young Workers’ Conference
MU members Diljeet Bhachu and Sam Murray represented the MU’s 5,000 members age 30 and under at the TUC’s Young Workers’ Conference in March proposing the Union’s motion on protecting freelance workers.

Events:

– Brexit: what does it mean for you?  Wednesday 19 April, London
Share your thoughts and concerns about the upcoming Brexit negotiations and how they are likely to affect you as a working musician.

– Wide Days  21 – 22 April, Edinburgh
The eighth edition of Scotland’s Music Convention, Wide Days, offers a packed programme of seminars, presentations and workshops.

– One-to-one career advice sessions  Wednesday 26 April, Newcastle
MU Officials Matt Wanstall and Barry Dallman will be available between 10am and 12pm for 1-2-1 advice sessions to help with any aspect of your career.

– CRISP: Health & Safety Passport  Wednesday 3 May, Cardiff
A one-day H&S course designed specifically for employed and freelance workers engaged in film, TV, theatre and live events.

– Tax advice workshop  Monday 8 May, London
Each tax year brings changes to rules, regulations and allowances, so attend our workshop for expert advice for freelance musicians.

– Contract advice and 1-2-1 sessions  Friday 12 May, Wrexham
Join the MU’s Paul Gray for an overview of the various agreements most commonly presented to musicians, songwriters and composers.

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