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Musicians’ Union Members in the Music Staff Reach Agreement with English National Opera

This means that musicians in both the orchestra and music staff have reached agreements with English National Opera, and planned strike action in this dispute is cancelled.

Published: 20 February 2024 | 1:21 PM
Outside of the London Coliseum Theater where ENO is currently based.
The union’s position is that there should be full time opera provision in both London and Manchester with our members on full time contracts. Image credit: Shutterstock.

We are pleased to announce that Musicians’ Union members in the music staff at English National Opera have voted to accept an agreement with the company.

It comes after the union reached an agreement for musicians in the English National Opera orchestra.

 

The announcement was covered by the Guardian, Independent and Evening Standard.

Working towards full time opera in London and Manchester

The union’s position is that there should be full time opera provision in both London and Manchester with our members on full time contracts.

As MU National Organiser for Orchestras Jo Laverty said: “Our members remain deeply disappointed that they have lost so much work and income when many of the other ENO staff have stayed full time.

“It is our intention to work on building up our members' work with ENO so they can return to full contracts. An ideal long-term situation would see ENO making opera full time in both London and Manchester.

In addition to supporting orchestra members affected by arts funding cuts, the MU is calling on the UK government to:

  • Provide specific funding for touring to cover increasing costs
  • Make the orchestral and theatre tax relief extensions permanent
  • Write off or delay repayment of Covid recovery loans
  • Reverse Nadine Dorries’ instruction to Arts Council England that led to English National Opera being asked to relocate.

Key moments from members’ industrial campaigning

Campaigning started in October 2023, after ENO first announced its plans:

This year, the MU announced its first strike action for 44 years starting with action short of strike in January:

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