Behind Every Musician
From rock bands to classical quartets and from songwriters to instrumental teachers, the Musicians’ Union (MU) (opens in new tab) stands up for employed and freelance musicians working in every area of the UK music industry. These sectors include the live arena, recording and broadcasting, writing and composing, plus the orchestral world and music education.
In addition to negotiating on behalf of its members with all the major employers in the industry, the MU offers a range of services tailored for self-employed members by providing help for professional and student musicians of all ages.
The MU works to maximise the employment and overall income of musicians, as well as to protect and improve working conditions. The MU also offers advice, support and legal assistance based on every individual member’s needs.
In keeping with its proud record of fighting prejudice, the Union actively opposes all forms of harassment and unfair discrimination, whether on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, disability, age, or other status or personal characteristic.
Be better represented
The MU represents its 31,000 members by lobbying government at all levels and by campaigning on a national and international scale on issues of relevance to working musicians.
The organisation is in regular contact with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and ensures that musicians are represented during vital debates that affect musicians working at all levels of the industry.
The MU, as part of the Performers’ Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group, organises meetings and receptions at the House of Commons that give performers the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with members of both Houses.
In addition, the Union plays a leading role in the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), founded in 1948, which is the international organisation for musicians and incorporates 72 unions from across the world. FIM’s main objective is to protect and further the economic, social and artistic interests of musicians organised in member unions.
Be sure your voice is heard
The MU is a democratic organisation. Conferences and committees are formed of democratically elected MU members. Every member can be involved as much or as little as they wish. Members can also submit motions, calling for action, for committees to consider.
The MU, as a trade union, is governed by a set of Rules. The Union has both geographically based ‘Regions’ and ‘Sections’, with the latter acting as focus groups for musicians working in different areas of the music industry. These Sections are vital in helping to shape Union policy. Each Region and Section has a democratically elected Committee that meets to discuss issues and, where appropriate, make recommendations to the Union’s governing body, the Executive Committee.
Be free from insurance worries
Musicians who join the MU can benefit from £2,000 of instrument insurance cover, £10 million public liability insurance cover, personal accident cover, professional expenses cover (help when dealing with tax authorities) plus professional indemnity insurance for those working in education.
Avoid legal wrangles
Members also benefit from free legal advice and representation, the MU’s highly-respected contract advice and negotiation service, unpaid fee recovery, trade union representation for problems at work, and a valuable partnership advisory service when working with other musicians
Whether you are a fledgling guitarist developing your playing and technique, or an experienced player performing live or in the studio, formally trained or forging your own path, the MU is there for you.
By creating affordable access to the MU, the Union aims to provide further support and benefits to even more musicians. So, if you have left the MU five or more years ago, you can rejoin and pay just £1 for six months of membership. Subject to joining for 12 months, with the following six month period paid at the standard rate of £18.42 per month. The membership cannot be cancelled within 12 months of joining. Available to first-time joiners only.
Students in full-time education pay £20 a year.
www.theMU.org (opens in new tab)