Pictured: Front l/r, Stephen Brown, Martin Sutherland, Millicent Stephenson. Middle l/r, Tonia Daley Campbell, Michael Corfield, Franklyn Spencer. Back l/r, Paul Fleming, Ian Manborde, Lee Barron, Ian Bayes

Coventry City of Culture Trust has signed a pledge to ensure that all artists and creatives who work on their projects, as part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, will do so on terms that exceed the industry standard.

The Trust signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) after working with the cultural sector union bodies including Midlands TUC Cultural & Leisure Industries Committee, Equity, BECTU and Musicians’ Union.

The Trust and the unions shared aspirations to ensure that all creatives and freelancers are paid and recognised appropriately and signed an agreement that commits the Trust to offering terms that ‘exceed those in recognised industry-wide contracts and rates’.

This MOU is the foundation of a Fair Pay Manifesto that the Trust aims to launch early next year. This will seek to further promote the need for those working in the creative and cultural sector to be appropriately and fairly compensated for their time and experience.

Coventry City of Culture Trust will also encourage its partners and stakeholders to engage with appropriate unions to create agreements for creative sector workers they employ.

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This is a very important commitment by the Trust and one that recognises that those who work in the creative and cultural sectors have a right to be employed with good terms and conditions.
“Coventry 2021 seeks to leave a legacy of a stronger arts and culture sector in the region and that can only be done if the work of artists and creative freelancers is valued, both through recognition and conditions of employment.

“We are delighted, therefore, to sign this MOU with Midlands TUC Cultural & Leisure Industries Committee, Equity, BECTU and Musicians’ Union and look forward to working with them and their members in the coming weeks and months.”

Paul Fleming, General Secretary of Equity, said: “This ground-breaking MOU sends a really clear message – not only are today’s artists doing important work which deserves proper terms and conditions, but the artists of tomorrow, inspired by the City of Culture, can rely on the union movement to build a stable and inclusive industry.

“Whether you’re an actor, stage management, creative team member or variety artist, you’ll benefit from the hard work of our Midlands staff and activists, and constructive engagement of the City of Culture Trust.”