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Entertainment Unions issue joint statement following ENO meeting

The general secretaries of BECTU, Equity and the Musicians' Union - respectively Gerry Morrissey, Christine Payne and John Smith - have issued a joint statement following a meeting with senior management at English National Opera (ENO).

Close up image of Violin being played

The general secretaries of BECTU, Equity and the Musicians' Union - respectively Gerry Morrissey, Christine Payne and John Smith - have issued the following statement following a meeting with senior management at English National Opera (ENO):

On Friday, 20 February, the general secretaries of Equity, the Musicians' Union and BECTU met with senior management from English National Opera (ENO), including the acting chair and the artistic director.

The meeting was requested by the unions following Arts Council England’s decision to remove the Company from its national portfolio of organisations for 2015-18.

The Arts Council has provided funding for the next two years, in addition to transition funding, subject to ENO meeting a number of financial targets.

The unions found the meeting constructive and were pleased to hear of plans which, if executed, should allow the Company to return to the Arts Council’s national portfolio in November 2015, at which point ENO would expect to be re-admitted onto the national portfolio with funding for Year Three.

All three unions are totally committed to the work of ENO and would oppose any plans to change the status of the Company to part-time. Management explained that as a result of last year’s 29% budget cut, its work would be need to be less ambitious and that fewer risks could be taken during a period where balancing the books would be vital to restoring confidence in the Company. A new chief executive is to be recruited as soon as possible.

It was agreed that the unions would have direct representation on a working group that would also include representatives from all departments within the Company. This group would meet senior management monthly and would be updated on all artistic and financial aspects of the business plan.

It was agreed that a further meeting at general secretary level with senior management would take place in June and in advance of the unions' meeting with the Arts Council.


Published: 23/02/2015

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