Louise Braithwaite is Vice Chair of the MU Midlands Regional Committee, Vice Chair of the MU Freelance Orchestral Committee and is a lay activist for the Union.
She was nominated for the award for a number of reasons, including her passion for the issues that freelance orchestral musicians face relating to their wellbeing, pay, terms and conditions. She has also represented the Union in this regard with engagers, on MU committees and with external organisations including public bodies and academic institutions.
The TUC Campaigning Rep of the Year Award recognises individual reps who have delivered particular campaign activity within their workplace or community.
Louise says: “This award recognises the MU’s efforts for members alongside other trade unions in the Midlands. I’d like to thank our Regional staff Jenny Simpson, Ben Benson and Stephen Brown for their dedication to the needs of members and to supporting the MRC.
“I’d also like to thank my colleagues on the Midlands Regional Committee for putting my name forward. They’re a great team of people, making positive change in members’ best interests.”
Louise thoroughly deserves this award for the hard work and dedication to members interests she has demonstrated
MU Regional Organiser Stephen Brown says:
“On my recommendation, the Midlands Regional Committee wholeheartedly supported the MU submitting an application for ‘Campaigning Rep of the Year’ for Louise to the Annual Midlands TUC Awards, which recognises the outstanding achievements of local trade union activists.
“Louise has been passionate about the issues that freelance orchestral musicians face relating to their wellbeing, pay, terms and conditions. She has challenged engagers on the terms they offer when they are not sufficient to meet the requirements of the job and lead to financial loss by musicians just for turning up to work.
“Louise has raised awareness of the precarious working life of freelance orchestral musicians on job insecurity, insufficient work, the difficulties of balancing caring responsibilities with a self-employed career, the demands the work places on families, the unacceptable long days and insufficiently paid travel arrangements, and post-covid impact on musicians health and finances.
“That the TUC Awards Panel agreed is absolutely fantastic and it’s the first time anyone from the MU has won such an award, it’s great news indeed. Louise thoroughly deserves this Award for the hard work and dedication to members interests she has demonstrated.
“I’m very proud of her as is the Midlands Team, the Midlands Regional Committee, and all that know her and just what she’s done to better the working lives of MU members.”