I’m so chuffed to have secured the endorsement of the Midlands’ region, let alone by such a big margin, as their choice for MU General Secretary.
I’m now on the ballot paper so can present my bold and ambitious plans to our entire membership.
I want to change our union for the better and put you, our members, front and centre of everything we do. I want to see improvements in your pay and conditions, in fees, more regional ‘levelling up’ (to coin a phrase), to make being a musician financially sustainable and more environmentally friendly, so you can work more rewardingly and regionally without the necessity for too many long journeys just to pay the bills. Not to mention seeing our industry prosper on a national level – where our campaigns can really matter.
And matter they must if we are to challenge the damage that political populism and austerity has inflicted on us all. One of the first campaigns must be about music education and a value awareness campaign of our profession for society. We MUST try and start to restore the incredibly important role music education plays in children’s development, in getting the musicians of the future, explaining how it enhances our cultural lives, and improves our nation’s well-being. The cultural vandals running things in Westminster need to offer us more than warm words with a promise in one hand, whilst holding a knife of cuts in the other.
But let me assure you that I won’t be ignoring the massively damaging issues of Brexit or Covid either. We need solutions, to start campaigning harder, and to work together to win in order to change our future working lives for the better! As part of this we also need to reach out to musicians we have historically failed to attract into membership so that we better reflect the incredible diversity of our industry.
All musicians deserve to be better rewarded and better regarded. That’s my key message today.
So, I just want to say a big big thank you to all of you who came to the nomination meeting, took part, asked questions, and those of you who voted for me.
I did say in my acceptance speech that I think all of the candidates have merit and I stand by that so it’s a pity we don’t have a better process that could have seen all of us on the ballot paper. If elected I will want to improve this process too because it feels somewhat exclusive as a process in many ways. I’d also intend to do my utmost to unify the clearly differing groups within our membership that have been evident in the process to date. We can only succeed if we are united.
Anyway, I’m deeply humbled that you have put your trust in me and I can promise you that I won’t let you down if I’m elected General Secretary.
Please continue to have conversations with musicians and colleagues you know about the type of union you want to see and let me know by email or by DM on my social media. And do spread my message of hope and wanting us to ‘dare for better’ if you can – so that members can share in the optimism I feel for changing things for the better. Let’s create a movement for positive change that involves us all.
All the best and I’ll see you soon hopefully – I won’t be an invisible General Secretary!