Bectu recommends pay offer to members working in London’s West End

20 December 2023

Bectu submitted a pay claim to the Society of London Theatres (SOLT) in July 2023 on behalf of its members working in theatres in London’s West End. Read more here

The union has now secured an offer from SOLT and is recommending that its members accept it. Bectu will ballot its members, with the ballot opening Tuesday 19 December 2023 and closing Tuesday 9 January 2024.  

The key details of the offer are: 

  • A 7.1% pay increase backdated to 16 October 2023 for 15 months 
  • On 20 January 2025 the rates will be increased by CPI (as at December 2024) plus 1.5%. Minimum increase 2% and maximum cap 6% 

If the National Minimum Wage rises above the increase provided, this will be honoured and differentials between grades 8 and 9 maintained.  

The union has set the next pay review date for January 2026. 

Sunday payments and working arrangements 

If the offer is accepted, the existing Covid variation agreement will cease to exist. An interim agreement will replace it, which will provide 0.5T on top with no opt out for 8 weeks (excluding Sunday concerts). 

Following this period, Sunday payment of 1T on top will be reinstated. If members accept the offer, a Sunday working roster variation process will be implemented 8 weeks after acceptance of the offer.  

The previous Sunday working variation request was a blunt tool; it was rarely used and members were effectively only allowed to opt in or out. Bectu is pleased that the new process provides much more flexibility, for example members could request to work every other weekend or similar arrangements.  

Joint working groups 

SOLT has also committed to forming two joint working groups who will: 

  • Review the Bectu/SOLT agreement and its scope 
  • Conduct a more detailed review of FOH, Box Office and Stage Door roles 

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:  

“The pandemic and now the ongoing skills shortage have highlighted that terms, conditions and pay in the theatre sector need to be urgently addressed and modernised. Bectu members stepped up throughout Covid and beyond to help the industry back on its feet, with significant impact on their home and social lives and mental health. It is now time that the industry listens to their concerns to ensure a thriving West End that is fit for the future. 

“We know that work/life balance, 6-day working, an opt out on Sunday working, and extending the scope of the SOLT/Bectu agreement to cover grades not currently included are key concerns for our members. That’s why we’re pleased to have secured this offer from SOLT, which recognises Bectu members’ strength of feeling on these issues. 

 “Throughout negotiations with SOLT we have been focused on securing a fair pay deal and highlighting the impact on Sunday working on our members. We are happy to recommend this offer to our members as an important step forward in ensuring the agreement remains fit for purpose and appropriate for a modern workforce.”