Bectu signs landmark agreement to protect cultural workers’ pay at the Commonwealth Games

22 July 2022

Bectu, along with the TUC, Equity and the Musicians’ Union, has signed a landmark pledge to ensure that all artists and creatives who work during the Games are paid fairly, that the Games works to support the long-term health of the creative sector in the Midlands region and actively promotes diversity.

The agreement has been made in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the unions and the Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Games.

The MOU ensures that nationally agreed rates of pay for creatives will be adhered to and makes clear the difference between volunteers, community art and professional work, meaning that community and voluntary workers will supplement rather than replace paid work.

The MOU also sets out a commitment to ‘support and promote diversity in the engagement of professional creative sector workers who are based in Birmingham and the Midlands in order to support the long term cultural and economic prosperity of the region.’

Bectu Midlands Negotiations Officer Mick Corfield said:

“Bectu is thrilled to sign this important agreement that recognises how crucial cultural workers are to delivering huge sporting, social and cultural moments like the Commonwealth Games.

“Our members are talented professionals who will be critical to delivering the Games and it is right that their skills are properly recognised. It’s fantastic to also have a commitment to diversity and equality in supporting jobs in the Midlands and continued growth of the region’s cultural sector.

“This agreement really is a win-win for everyone – workers are fairly rewarded, community involvement is championed and diversity and long-term support for our cultural economy is at the heart of the strategy.”

Chair of the TUC Midlands Creative & Leisure Industry Committee, and Musician’s Union Regional Organiser Stephen Brown, said:

“I’m delighted that the three cultural unions, Bectu, Equity and the Musicians Union, working through the TUC, have secured this landmark agreement with the Birmingham Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Games. Trade unions backed the bid to secure the Commonwealth Games here in Birmingham. We know how much it means to our city and what it can deliver. And this agreement is evidence of the Games delivering for Birmingham.

“It ensures that creative sector workers at the Games get paid the right rate for the work they do, and it respects their intellectual property rights.

“Importantly, it also sets a benchmark for the best working practices in our industry ensuring a focus on delivering equality, diversity and inclusion, which is vital as a legacy for trade unions and the Games in our region.”