The Arts Council will be providing over £28million of Portfolio funding between 2015 and 2018 to dance companies in England and Wales (not counting investment into national ballet companies and regional dance agencies).
Arts Council written guidance explicitly states that “artists’ fees for projects funded by us should be in line with recognised codes of practice set by the relevant lead bodies”. What is often misunderstood is that the Equity minimum rate for funded dance companies should be used alongside terms and conditions laid out in the Equity-ITC Ethical Manager Agreement. This Agreement gives guarantees on holiday allowance, sickness and injury pay, working hours and audio-visual recordings.
Working on union terms is about dignity and fairness at work. We deserve to have a voice in our workplaces and to be assured that when we work for a company receiving long-term public subsidy, that we should be employed on Equity minimum standards.
As a Network we have the strength to campaign for this sort of change. This time last year our Network didn’t exist, but now we have around 300 Network members and a growing social media presence. Our Network has succeeded in opening doors for us to have these sorts of conversations with managements. We have begun many positive relationships with employers because of the Network – some of whom we had never had contact with before. We really want to work constructively with managers as we believe that good employment conditions are a result of the whole industry working together.
Together we can make change.
Look out for further updates on our work in this area and encourage professional dancers you know to sign up to the Network. There is strength in numbers!