We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our chosen social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read our cookie policy for more information.


Why I Joined the MU: Diljeet Bhachu

“Come and join me and other young workers in the MU and let's be voices for the future and make change happen” – Diljeet.

Photo of Diljeet Bhachu

I joined the Musicians' Union (MU) because I realised that as a young musician, at the beginning of my career, people expected me to work for little or no fee, and I wasn't happy about it.

Friends of mine were already members, and as a student, the £20 membership rate just made it a common sense decision. I'm really grateful for that, because it allowed me to see what the Union could do for me, before I graduated and went up to the full membership rate. As young workers, we're often exploited, especially as students, so being a part of the MU really made me realise that we could fight for change, and that with collective effort we could actually make things happen.

After working freelance for a while, I'm currently back at university getting my PhD, and the student membership is so great as I'm not playing quite as much while I'm doing research, but to have that protection for the work I am doing is so invaluable.

A couple of years ago another member contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in joining the Scotland and Northern Ireland Regional Committee (RC). It's not something I'd thought about doing before, and to be honest, I wasn't sure it was something I could do, but thanks to someone else's pro-active ways, I decided to go for it and haven't looked back. Since joining RC, I've learned so much more about my Union, and about the trade union movement in general.

I've had the opportunity to voice my opinions directly to my Union, move motions on behalf of my Union at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), perform with some incredible musicians, and continue to expand my networks. 

I think it's so important for young voices - diverse voices of all kinds - to be heard in the MU, and I'm looking forward to furthering my activism with the MU in years to come. If someone else hadn't made me realise I could be a part of an MU committee, I'm not sure I'd have ever ended up here.

So my message to you if you've never thought about getting involved in a committee or section is, you're never too young - come and join me and other young workers in the MU and let's be voices for the future and make change happen.

About Diljeet

Diljeet Bhachu is a flautist based in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  She's also a PhD researcher in the Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh, funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities. Her research focuses on addressing inequitable access to music education, and she has a wider interest in equality in all aspects of the music industry and academia.

Photo credit: Glasgow Women’s Library.

Published: 16/11/2016

Join the MU for £1

News RSS