I have been looking at some of the things I’ve done over the last few years as MU Regional Organiser.
I believe, as a committed trade unionist, that collaboration with our sister unions gets results. Consequently, I’ve been at the heart of plenty of firsts for the Musicians’ Union.
For instance, in my role sitting on the Midlands TUC Executive and Chair of the Creative & Leisure Industry Committee (CLIC) I’ve negotiated groundbreaking agreements for MU, Equity, and BECTU members under the TUC banner.
I have negotiated deals with both Coventry City Of Culture and Birmingham Commonwealth Games to ensure the creative workforce, including musicians, of course, get paid good industry rates so your work in these events is properly rewarded and your intellectual property rights are respected.
This arose out of my work helping to draft the TUC Cultural Manifesto which sets out the principles upon which public monies should be used in the cultural sector – so employers and engagers respect the value of our work, pay proper fees, and deliver on equality, diversity, and inclusion. These principles formed the bedrock of these deals.
Current CLIC projects I am involved in are about attracting inward investment into Birmingham to campaign to build a TV & Film studio to give the region the jobs and cultural recognition it deserves, and fighting for fairer BBC funding for our region.
All of this is rooted in my core principles of fairness, democracy, and equality.
This is why my campaign slogans of “your issues are my issues and “dare for better” are resonating with so many members. I represent the change the MU needs in order to go forward. As a musician myself I understand why all of this stuff is so important, and why the union needs to be more relevant to more musicians. The Musicians’ Union is supposed to do what it says on the tin. This hasn’t always been true of late and it’s why I am on a mission to put musicians back into the union, and the union back into musicians.