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Service Level Commitment, Feedback and Complaints Procedure

Last updated: 07 July 2021

Our key commitments to members

When dealing with prospective, new or existing members, we are committed to acting:

  • promptly
  • transparently, fairly, reasonably, honestly and impartially
  • with respect for you and your career 
  • democratically and in accordance with MU Rules
  • with respect for your privacy and your personal information

We will always endeavour to:

  • act in a professional, courteous and helpful manner
  • provide you with clear, appropriate and accurate information and advice, consulting specialists where necessary
  • take reasonable account of circumstances relating to language, disability or other such matters that might affect you

Read our criteria for the MU legal advice and assistance service.

Acting promptly

We endeavour to ensure that you can always reach someone in your Regional Office or MU HQ when you want to speak to us in person. If you leave us a message or send an email, we will try our best to respond within 2-3 working days. We will endeavour to prioritise urgent enquiries. We also aim to respond to letters within a week of receiving them. Please note that we may not be able to meet these timeframes during periods of office closure.

When a member of staff is absent or on holiday, we will ensure it is clear who is covering their work (usually via a voicemail message or out of office response) so that you can follow up your enquiry with them.

Acting transparently, fairly, reasonably, honestly and impartially

We will always aim to explain all aspects of MU membership clearly.  There are various resources available to members that help with this, including:

MU Regional Offices are there to help and advise members on any aspect of the MU’s range of benefits and services. When assessing a member’s eligibility to use a benefit or service, we strive to ensure that we are fair and transparent both in decision-making and in explaining a decision taken.  If there is a problem or we make a mistake, we will be honest and strive to rectify the issue if at all possible.  We are opposed to any form of discrimination and are committed to treating members equally. 

Respect for you and your career

First and foremost, the MU is run by musicians for musicians.  Our Committee structure means that musicians are involved in all our key decision-making.  The MU Executive Committee is composed of around 20 musicians elected to oversee the running of the Union. 

We also appoint Union Officials and staff to carry out the work of the Union at National and Regional level and they tend to have experience either of working as a musician or in the trade union movement.  We appreciate that our members are all different and have their own unique issues and concerns.  We will endeavour to reflect that in the guidance we give and work to provide a personalised service where we can.

Acting democratically and in accordance with MU Rules

The Musicians’ Union is a democratic Union and it is run by elected Regional Committees and an elected Executive Committee. Members can influence MU policy in various ways; for example, by attending the biennial MU Delegates or Members’ Conferences, standing for a Regional or Section Committee, the Equalities Committee or the Executive Committee (EC), by putting a motion forward for consideration or becoming a Union activist.  See your MU Members’ Handbook for further details. The MU Rules can be found in the Handbook or on the website.  If you believe a fellow MU member has breached the Union’s Rules, you can make a complaint under Rule XVII.

Respect for your privacy and personal data

We take your privacy and the business of handling your personal data very seriously. Read our Privacy Policy.

Members’ responsibilities

MU members’ responsibilities are set out in the MU Rules.  MU members should treat each other with respect and the same goes for our employed staff and Officials, as well as any contractors and agency workers engaged by the Union.  MU staff, Officials and contractors are entitled to dignity at work and to carry out their roles without fear of abuse or harassment. Abuse will not be tolerated and will be handled under the Members’ Disciplinary Procedure set out in the Rules.

We also ask members to be clear, honest and transparent in their dealings with us so that we can best advise and represent them.

Feedback and complaints

The MU is committed to providing its members with an excellent service. We therefore welcome your feedback (positive or developmental) about the service we provide.

If you would like to give positive feedback, you can do this via any MU member of staff by phone, email or letter.  We would be delighted to hear about any particularly good service you’ve received from a team, individual or from one of our service providing partners.  If we receive positive feedback about a member of staff, we will always share this with them as it is important that our colleagues know they’ve been appreciated for going the extra mile.  If you really want to brighten someone’s day, you can put a glowing review in writing to the General Secretary via info@themu.org.

We appreciate that occasionally we may not meet your expectations and if you would like to make a complaint, please follow the procedure below in order to ensure we can address your concerns effectively.

Please note that we are sometimes unable to provide advice or assistance for a legitimate reason, such as failure to meet a service’s criteria.

Step 1

In the first instance, please explain your concerns to the MU staff member with whom you have been dealing or who is currently communicating with you and they will seek to resolve the matter or pass the message on to an appropriate colleague.

Step 2

If at any time after raising your concerns at Step 1, the matter remains unresolved and you wish to speak to someone else, please ask the person with whom you have been dealing to refer you to their line manager. The person you are dealing with may themselves decide to pass the matter on to their manager, to help resolve matters. (If the person you have been dealing with or who is currently communicating with you is a manager, then they will refer you directly to Step 3 below.) Depending on the particular circumstances, you may be passed to (or contacted by) the manager directly or you may be provided with the manager’s contact details.  When contacting the manager, please give full details of your concerns, your MU membership number (if you have one) and why you remain dissatisfied.  You will be encouraged to put your complaint in writing so that there is a formal record of it.  The manager will respond to any feedback within 2-3 days where at all possible, however please bear in mind that there may be a delay if detailed investigation is necessary.

Step 3

If you remain dissatisfied after you have heard from the manager, you can write by email or letter to the appropriate member of the MU Secretariat as follows:

  • Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary: General customer service complaints and complaints related to Regional Offices, MU services and benefits
  • Phil Kear, Assistant General Secretary: Complaints related to collective bargaining or other industrial matters
  • Horace Trubridge, General Secretary: complaints related to the Unions’ democracy, Committees or political activities

Please only address your complaint to one of the Secretariat members.  A member of the Secretariat will acknowledge your complaint within 2-3 working days and then aim to respond in full within a week where at all possible. However, please bear in mind that there may be a delay if detailed investigation is necessary.