The Musicians’ Union (MU) will this week ask the TUC to support a musician’s right to be paid and to work to protect artistic freedom of expression in the wake of the Pussy Riot verdict.
The TUC Congress is being held in Brighton until Wednesday (September 12).
The MU’s first motion will ask the TUC to help challenge the idea that musicians should be happy to work for free – an attitude which it says was all too prevalent in the run up to the Olympics.
A second motion will also be put forward on the importance of having standardised terms and conditions across the new Music Education Hubs.
The MU will also be seconding a motion put forward by Equity on protecting freedom of expression for artists, and will be highlighting the Pussy Riot case.
John Smith, MU General Secretary, says:
“All three of these issues are currently of real relevance to working musicians. Too many people seem to think of music as a hobby rather than a career, and are unaware of the years of training and hard work that it takes to become a professional performer. This leads to performers being asked or expected to work for free in far too many instances.
“The new Music Hubs will be employing large numbers of musicians and it is therefore vital that we ensure that instrumental music teachers are fairly treated during this time of transition.
“In addition, the MU condemned the recent verdict in the Pussy Riot trial and we welcome the opportunity to argue for the protection of freedom of expression at this year’s TUC conference. Musicians must be allowed the right to protest without fear of imprisonment or persecution, and it is important that there is international solidarity on this issue.”