My commitments

“It is my view that the strongest unions have empowered members with  transparent democratic structures, solid activist base, and a General Secretary as close to the membership as possible including on salary. This is the model I want for the MU. It will transform the face of our union, improve what we do and how we do it, ensuring our continued relevance to musicians.”

Stephen brown

My commitment to MU members as General Secretary will be:

1. Making your issues the core of what we do as a union

2. Redemocratise our union at all levels in a transparent way to push power and decision-making out to our members, regions, sections, and new self-organised groups by decentralising how we do things

3. Empowering members to become more active to build a stronger inclusive union with a powerful voice

4. Building our financial resilience as a union

5. Adopting an organising model to strengthen recruitment and retention of members 

6. Ensuring membership subscriptions provide best value and undertaking a review of subscription levels

This will necessarily require:

Complete review of our external relationships and their benefit to the union 

• Complete review of internal structures to make us fit for purpose 

• Complete review of the rule book to enable the necessary change to take place

It is my view that the General Secretary should be as close to the membership as possible to best understand your issues. For this reason, I will make myself directly accessible and accountable to you because I want to regularly hear your views. To achieve this I will set up regular member forums. It is my intention to limit my salary so that it is a transparent and reasonable multiplier based on the average musician’s income.

Achieving Positive Change: 

There are huge challenges we face as musicians and as a union; and I don’t just mean the recent pandemic which devastated members’ income and which will have long term profound implications for us: 

  • Brexit
  • insufficient funding for the arts
  • a lack of adequate investment in music education that’s reinforcing structural inequality 
  • the financial sustainability of a career
  • the digital and media revolution
  • the monopoly power of the big 3 labels and digital platforms 
  • climate change and how we achieve net zero
  • equality and diversity barriers
  • the low value that society places on our profession
  • Government indifference to the needs of our sector 

We have a Government hostile to our movement, and disinterested in the lives of working musicians. We have a political system shocked into deliberate chaos to protect the interests of the wealthiest. We cannot rely on these established structures like we once did to offer us very much. We therefore have to make things happen for ourselves.

To do this we have to change the way we operate in order to meet these challenges head on. We need to be prepared to make the big calls, be bold, but recognise what has worked well for us too. This is no time to be timid. This is a time to be proud of who and what we are. A time to stand up. A time to be lions. A time to realise we have our own powerful voice as a union. We can use our collective strength to protect our interests to improve our status, our fees, our pay, our terms and conditions, and performer rights. 

I will lead from the front and be a reforming General Secretary to bring about positive change by empowering our membership.

Stephen speaking at a PRS event on performer rights, Glee Club, Birmingham

Get in Touch

If you’d like to know more about my campaign, my plans for the Union, want to get involved, or if you have some thoughts about what you think our Union should be doing you can reach me at: