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It’s Important For Members to Have a Platform: Creating Positive Change in Wales and South West England

Wales and South West England Regional Officer Ruth Ballantyne looks at how to create positive change by getting involved in MU Delegate Conference.

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By Ruth Ballantyne Published: 20 March 2023 | 5:57 PM Updated: 23 March 2023 | 2:30 PM
Isolated view of a microphone in a meeting room on a table with blurred chairs in background.
Throughout all our discussions it’s clear that it’s important to members to be able to have a platform to raise and discuss issues. Image credit: Shutterstock.

It’s through the Wales and South West England regional committee that we get to hear directly from our members about the issues they face and the topics that matter to them. It’s just one of the ways that you as an MU member can help to guide and inform the union’s work.

What you raised at our most recent Regional Committee meeting

As it’s an MU Delegate Conference year this year, we spent time at our last Wales and South West England regional committee meeting discussing the main areas of concern and potential solutions that members wanted the union to work on.

Topics discussed include:

  • Welsh language – looking at the benefits of a Welsh language provision within the MU, what this might look like, and how it can support recruitment in Wales
  • Amateur theatre – how the MU can better represent members working as professional musicians in amateur theatre, specific challenges in the sector and diminishing work for members
  • YouTube advertising – what the MU can do to explore members’ concerns about inappropriate advertising placed alongside members’ content
  • PRS payments – frustration from members that PRS payments are often part of costs and expenses being passed on to members by venues.

We also spoke about challenges experienced by teachers and how the union can help

We discussed:

  • Safeguarding training – the duplication of safeguarding training that visiting music teachers (VMTs) have to undertake for different schools/organisations and options for the MU to explore standardised accepted training
  • VMT conditions – examples of poor treatment of VMT’s by education establishments, its effects on teachers, and how the union can help highlight and encourage good practice.

Throughout all our discussions it’s clear that it’s important to members to be able to have a platform to raise and discuss issues with the ultimate goal of affecting positive change.

Our members are passionate about the work they do and ultimately want to try and effect positive change to ensure a thriving industry not only now but for the future.

As an MU member you have a strong voice

As an MU member you have a strong voice to help raise the issues and concerns faced by musicians in your area. Submitting a motion to MU Delegate Conference can help facilitate further discussion, explore options, initiate campaigns and raise awareness of these issues to help make improvements.

You have until 31 March to submit a motion, and you can always contact us at your Regional Office to talk about ideas and how to write a successful motion. Examples from the last Conference can also be found in the MU Democracy hub.


Are you interested in sending in a motion for MU Delegate Conference?

• Learn more about Conference 2023

Tips and advice on how to write a successful motion

• Highlights from day one and day two of Conference 2021

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