Royal Opera House Orchestra accept new pay offer from management

Hattie Butterworth
Sunday, December 3, 2023

The agreement follows months of action from the orchestra and the Musicians Union

The agreement follows the previously unresolved decision to cut the orchestra's pay by 10% during the pandemic
The agreement follows the previously unresolved decision to cut the orchestra's pay by 10% during the pandemic

Sim Canetty Clarke/ROH

Following a campaign in association with the Musicians Union to have their pay restored to pre-pandemic levels, musicians in the Royal Opera House Orchestra have accepted a ‘significantly improved’ pay and conditions offer from the company’s management to settle the dispute.

The campaign came after the orchestra musicians at the Royal Opera House took a 10% pay cut to help the financial situation of the company during the pandemic when the Royal Opera House was closed. The cut was not restored to pre-pandemic levels, meaning the orchestra was working for less money than they did in 2015.

The new pay and conditions offer was accepted via a ‘clear majority’ of the orchestra members, whose action included leafletting to audiences, as well as wearing yellow t-shirts instead of their usual concert dress during a performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

MU London Regional Organiser Jamie Pullman said: ‘We are pleased to see that the situation was recognised by the management, resulting in the current offer.

‘We have been in negotiations for many months and our members felt they had to make a public demonstration of their frustration. They all love the Royal Opera House and want it to flourish, but they were also having to work double the number of weekends that they used to, and in cash terms they were earning less than they did in 2015.

‘This situation could not continue, and the action was a demonstration of the determination of our members to ensure changes happen.’

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