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Bectu Launches Pay Guidance For Professionals Working On Thetare Productions

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Bectu, the union for the creative industries, has launched new pay guidance for professionals working on UK touring theatre productions.

The guidance outlines recommended professional rates agreed in consultation with Bectu's theatre touring branch. The rates apply to individuals working in all posts and grades (other than those recognised by Equity or the Musicians’ Union), covering roles in lighting, sound, wardrobe, wigs, props, puppetry, chaperones, automation, and stage.

The rates guidance follows Bectu's launch of its 'Guide to good practice on touring productions' in October 2022, which sets out good practice for producers who tour theatre productions to venues across the UK.

Many Bectu members working in theatre have their minimum rates determined by Bectu’s collective bargaining agreements with the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre (UKT), which covers most commercial theatres outside London.

However, staff employed on touring productions have been increasingly employed on buyout contracts, where additional payments such as overtime, Sunday working, and in costume are effectively ‘bought out’ and included in the rate offered. While some of these contracts are underpinned by the collective agreements, others are often vague and a mix of Bectu agreements and those of other entertainment unions.

In the absence of agreed minimum rates with UKT or other employers, the new guidance will give Bectu members confidence and clarity when negotiating their rates for touring productions.

While employers are not obliged to pay the recommended rates, Bectu will be encouraging members to negotiate rates in line with the professional minimum recommended rates.

The recommended rates do not apply to work done in the Commercial West End theatre sector.

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