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Earlier this week the MU attended the annual STUC Congress at Caird Hall, Dundee. Our motions, which all passed unanimously, included:

  • Value Music Education (which asked Congress to call on the STUC General Council to: lobby government to properly fund music education and ensure that YMI funding and funding delivered through the Scottish Government and councils rises in line with inflation; lobby government to recognise the particular challenges in rural communities if music education is not properly funded, where travel costs between schools are higher; stand with the MU where jobs and careers are threatened by cuts to music services).
  • A Music Expo Office for Scotland (which asked Congress to call upon the Scottish Government to: establish and fund a Music Export Office for Scotland to provide systematic support for music exports, targeted at independent musicians and small and medium sized Scottish music companies to help build their international audiences; lobby Westminster to secure a Cultural Touring Agreement and Cultural Visa Waiver).
  • Support the Arts, Protect the Sector (which asked Congress to call on the STUC General Council to: support the Creative Industries Unions in their fight to hold the Scottish Government to the First Ministers commitment to improved arts funding for the arts; work within all unions to develop cultural initiatives encouraging them to remember and celebrate the role of culture within the Trade Union movement historically).

On Tuesday, the MU also hosted a lunchtime fringe event where we held a discussion on Fair Work with featured panellists, and networked with delegates and other unions over lunch and refreshments.

Our members in action

Our member Ben Lunn spoke in support of a motion on raising taxes to deliver for Scotland in order to support the arts and protect the sector. In his speech, he highlighted that:

  • when there are cuts, music and art are often the first to go
  • local funding can keep arts in the community
  • without local help, the arts will remain solely in the big cities, depriving the working class
  • we need to make our local communities place we live, not just work and pay council tax.

He also moved our motion on establishing a Music Expo Office for Scotland.

Ben Lynn speaking at STUC 2024

Our other MU delegate, Christine Cooper, moved a motion on the value of music education with support from EIS, Equity and Unite. In her speech, she stated that:

  • music education plays a crucial role in economic prosperity
  • if we do not invest in music education, then it also risks excluding those who cannot afford it
  • high-quality music education from an early age plays a key role in brain development and has a profound impact on mental health and well-being
  • by providing students with opportunities to engage with music, we not only cultivate their artistic talents but also promote their overall health and happiness
  • music education nurtures essential skills such as collaboration, emotional intelligence and critical thinking with students learning to communicate effectively and work together towards a common goal. By incorporating music into education, we provide students with a well-rounded skill set that prepares them for success in the modern world.

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Exterior of Caird Hall in the city centre of Dundee, Scotland.

Representing Our Scottish Members at STUC Congress 2024

This week we attended the annual Scottish Trades Union Congress with MU Delegates Christine Cooper and Ben Lunn, who discussed the importance of music education, community arts in Scotland and establishing a Music Expo Office for the country. All three of our motions were passed unanimously.

Published: 18 April 2024

Read more about Representing Our Scottish Members at STUC Congress 2024