The Olympics - Musicians Union Press Release

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by davidquinlan, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    There is probably another thread relating to this, about bands being keen to play etc..

    Here is a press release from the Musicians Union

    “We are talking to the London Olympics organising committee (LOCOG) about these reports as LOCOG has signed a Principles of Cooperation with the TUC which specifically states that professional workers will be paid for their services and are distinct from the unpaid volunteer workforce.
    “Our understanding is that all other sectors involved in putting on these events e.g. security, staging, equipment hire etc. are being paid their usual fees but not the musicians. If this is true, it is completely unacceptable and we will take the matter further. Professional musicians should always be offered a fee for their work.”

    Has your band being asked to play? offered a fee?

    I think it is a disgrace that they have not offered same deal as they have for other sectors.

    What do people think?
  2. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    It makes my blood boil. I wonder if the guys in hard hats were asked to do it for nothing. Trouble is, there will be plenty of amateur musicians who will be prepared to turn out for the love of it, totally devaluing the work of their professional counterparts.

    The term 'professional' is a dirty word in banding, but this affair is not band-centric. Full-time pro players from the vast ranks of the freelance world will find themselves being undercut by an unscrupulous organising committee and a bunch of well-meaning amateurs who will probably be given a flag to wave for their trouble.

    I wonder if they ever need a plumber to unblock Usain Bolt's toilet a 2am, will they put out a plea for plumbers to turn out 'for the love of it' and 'for the honour of playing their part'? Will they hell, they'll be charging three times the price. Yet, the musical world is probably 99% amateur (nowt wrong with that) and those players are the ones who, by accepting such an engagement, will be stealing from the pockets of the pros (not that there's much in my pockets!).

    It's times like this, I don't know why I bother :mad:
  3. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    The Olympics us funded by public money, there are volunteers doing various jobs because they want to be involved, why not, it saves public (yours and mine) money?

    If some of those roles happen to involve music is it really that bad?
  4. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Never mind the musicians, what about all those amateur athletes running and jumping around for no money?
  5. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Even professional musicians? It's their job / living / pays the bills etc....
  6. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    And unlike a lot of the athletes they aren't getting their training, accomodation and income provided through sponsorship.
  7. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Posting after a couple of beers, hope it makes sense!

    While I agree with what most people are saying, ie that a UK public funded event shouldn't be acting in a way to stop UK businesses and employees being involved profitably (and presumably the 'profit' everyone should make from the games is a major reason why a country bids for them), where should the line be?

    There are volunteers who will act as ushers, who will perform a role in the opening ceremony, who will be wandering around London generally being helpful to overseas visitors... and yet there are skilled people who could otherwise be paid to do these jobs, and they're represented by unions who are presumably equally as peeved as the MU.

    People seem to forget that money spent on paying for a labour force in the UK is likely to then be spent in the UK. Whatever public money goes in to this aspect of the games will go around the block and end up back with the public and the taxman anyway.
  8. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Brass bands being asked to play at the Olympics? You lot are delusional! :D
  9. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I think you're missing the point. The organisers are asking professional people to turn up and do a professional job and not get paid. There will be hoards of unpaid people acting in many different roles, but most of these will be of an unskilled nature. There was a much better reply to that drivel in the Evening Standard than I could do, but to paraphrase, the organisers would not ask police and security to work for nothing, they wouldn't ask technical staff to work for nothing, so why should we be asked to. It's an insult.

    Perhaps the politicians will be working for nothing running our country while the games are on? Stevetrom, will you be doing your normal day job for nothing while the games are on, in order to be 'part of it'?;)
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I fully agree that it would be wrong to expect professional musicians to perform without receiving any form of payment.

    Having said that, I should point out that we at Hadleigh, and probably a number of other Salvation Army bands in the area, are expecting to have some form of participation in the Mountain-biking weekend at Hadleigh, viewing this as part of our outreach and involvement with the local community.
  11. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    That's great news Peter, I don't resent that at all, sorry if I gave that impression. My beef was with the organisers asking professional musicians (and other performers, dancers, artists etc.) to give their professional services for nothing. An agreement to perform as part of an amateur group is totally different and I hope you have a fantastic day out.
  12. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    My comment was tongue in cheek, of course. Although I think I'm right in saying that for many top flight athletes, running/jumping/throwing etc. is what they do for a living - except at the Olympics, where (I think) they give their services free of charge. Or have I got that wrong?
  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Whether or not it's true, the IOC has certainly performed a near complete about-face from the days when Jim Thorpe was stripped of his 1912 pentathlon and decathlon medals because he had been a semi-professional baseball player for a couple of seasons.
  14. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I think you are right, there is no prize money or fee, but it is about sport, THEY are the ones that enter for the experience, Olympic spirit, prestige, honour of representing their country etc.. all other professional services should be subject to professional contracts and appropriate remuneration.

    Top level athletes are sponsored during training, the best ones are heavily commercially sponsored too, I'm sure they are living in athletes village for peanuts if anything at all.

    The stadium wasn't build by the builders for the prestige of it...
  15. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Maybe if they were offering musicians sponsorship in the form of their clothing and equipment, I might be interested
    (new cornet anybody?)
  16. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    New pair of black trousers in my case!
  17. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    New baton in my case... :)
  18. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Simples - it's not personal, it's just that rightly or wrongly the perception is that music as a trade is not worth paying for in the same way as say a plumber or builder as essentially you are getting skinned by people making a job out of a hobby. While pro musicians are probably well aware of how great they are your average joe might not see much difference between amateur / semi-pro musicians and the pro's in terms of performance standard. The most obvious difference will probably be the inflexible and "work to rule" style approach of your average MU affiliated muso. I don't need a lecture in the need for unions, and am aware of the danger of unscrupulous promoters taking advantage of peoples goodwill, but until there is a perceptible difference in the standard of the best amateur ensembles (like brass bands) and their "pro" equivalent then don't be surprised if the "profession" is not taken seriously. It's not enough just to pay MU subs, the work must also meet expectations. I have quite a few friends & relatives who could plumb / wire a house or build a nice straight wall, but if I hired a pro I would expect the same jobs to be done to either a higher standard or completed more quickly / efficiently. Although the professionalism of musicians is threatened by those looking to make a quick buck or get something for nothing, it is also threatened by a number of journeyman instrumentalists who believe they need nothing more than an MU card and a sense of entitlement to be a pro.
  19. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    +1 :clap::clap::clap:

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