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Recommended Rates & How We Set Them

This Young Workers' Month (#YWM15), one of the issues we are talking about is pay.

Published: 10 November 2015 | 12:00 AM Updated: 17 December 2021 | 5:22 PM

This Young Workers' Month, one of the issues we are talking about is pay.  

It's one of the issues musicians ask us about the most. From the Fair Play Guide to getting a fair deal in a small venue, to the Work Not Play campaign for fair pay for all professional musicians, it’s one we go on about a lot too. 

We believe that all musicians should be fairly paid for their work. That’s why we provide ‘recommended rates’. 

Our ‘recommended rates’ are the minimum you should be paid for your work – a guide to your value, an aid to your negotiations, and a basic calculation of how much you need to cover your costs as a musician. Think of it like a living wage that includes things most people don’t pay for, like instruments, equipment and their insurance and care, or things most people don’t have to work out for themselves, such as national insurance.  

Find our rates

Rates vary across which part of the industry you work in and what you do. So if you’re not sure how much you should be paid, get in touch

How we set our recommended rates of pay

We're often asked how these rates are decided upon. Trade unions like ours have a democratic structure and decisions like these are made by members elected to committees. We have specialist Sections for different industry areas that act like networks, and members can sign up to them.

Each Section, or network, has a Committee which provides experience and intelligence on what’s going on in the industry. They advise us on what the rates should be, and the rates are then confirmed by the Executive Committee, a democratically elected group of members that governs the work of the Union. 

It's easy to get involved in the MU's five industry Sections, be part of a network of musicians and have a say on the big issues affecting you. Find out more and get involved.

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