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Regional theatre staff receive pay boost under new agreement

Stage door workers are among those covered in the UK Theatre and BECTU agreement. Photo: John Gomez/Shutterstock Stage door workers are among those covered in the UK Theatre and BECTU agreement. Photo: John Gomez/Shutterstock
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Regional theatre workers have voted to accept pay increases ranging from 3% to 4.7%.

The agreement will see a 4.7% increase for workers covered in grades four and five of UK Theatre’s agreement with union BECTU – bringing pay in line with the national minimum wage, which increases in April from £7.50 to £7.83 an hour.

Workers in grades one, two and three will see a 3% increase, meaning their hourly wage will increase by up to 25p, while there will also be a 3% increase for meal expenses, allowances for touring and call out rates.

BECTU members voted 90% in favour of the pay offer, which will come into effect from April 2.

The union’s negotiating team had recommended acceptance of UK Theatre’s offer. The union had originally called for a 4% across the board increase.

Talks are continuing to update the union’s agreement with UK Theatre, which involves plans for a new pay and grading structure, drawing on information from a pay survey that was launched in December 2017.

BECTU assistant national secretary Helen Ryan said: “The priority for our team now is to focus on modernising the agreement.

“Ultimately BECTU wants to secure a base payment of the real living wage within an agreement which reflects the needs of today’s theatres and their workforce.”

Several theatres covered by the UK Theatre agreement also have house agreements that build on the minimum terms set out in the national agreement. BECTU officials will be approaching management at those organisations to seek an uplift in rates consistent with changes to the minimum rates.

The UK Theatre and BECTU agreement covers all theatre staff in roles including box office, administration, technical and stage door in all theatres around the country that are members of UK Theatre. There is a separate agreement for working in the West End.

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