FMTW Meeting Minutes 13th May 2022

Chair: Josie Underwood

Minutes: Josie Underwood

Present: Jake Orr, Peter McKintosh, Mimi Doulton, Alistair Cope, Vicki Mortimer, Nikki Edmonds, Paule Constable, Josie Underwood

Apologies: Paul Carey Jones, Bill Bankes-Jones, Hazel Holder, Kelsie Acton

Updates and reports

SOLT Meeting – PC

PC spoke to SOLT and it reinforced the intrinsic disfunction of the orgnisation.

NE – Many producers are waiting for SOLT to ok their action, but SOLT can’t action anything? They are responsible for the employees but they can’t hold their employers to account.

VM – SOLT has no mandate to enforce anything.

PM – Cowardly of SOLT, if ALW goes his own way then whats the problem? Unless someone holds him to account nothing will change.

VM – If he goes out of the SOLT framework then they have no OTTER

The irony of SOLT being those who were representing us at gov level during pandemic.

NE – Writing letters to SOLT feels useless as they game play and run out the timeframes of the plea. We will call out the fact that the meeting we set up with them was last minute cancelled. We need the Greenbook, is held in negotiations with SOLT – unions and SOLT uphold this together. For a long time the freelancers and unions have been saying that we should make individual agreements.

The repercussions will be that people won’t just not work for ALW, they’ll say they don’t ant to work in the industry at all.

PC – One of the SOLT Board rang and said ‘there is nothing we can do’. Their priorities are having ATG, CM and ALW at the table. One of the things to talk about is DCMS having regular meetings with us, because where does this happen elsewhere?

VM – I don’t know how many people read what we put out. It is a complex picture for people who are not consistently involved in that part of theatre making. It feels like a newsletter type piece? It isn’t a soundbite situation, its more complex than this.

AC – We updated last week where this conversation was. Part of our function is to be the communicators to the freelancers. It is our responsibility to say something. We have a twitter thread which is being added to whenever there is an update. People are interested.  It puts us in the firing line,but maybe that is our role?

NE – there is a lot of communication happening. Industrial ballot action is being discussed. Campaigns to audience members. The place where this gets amplified and is where is articulated. Footfall of audience means a lot – people pulled tickets from the Phantom orchestra fiasco.

VM – I dont feel patronised at all, I need someone to articulate. A combination of PCs context and NEs on-the-ground experience. There is a growing support for direct action. There are producers who read newsletters, and they should know the level of frustration and determination that there is.

Offer from PC to write something. Nowhere is selling tickets!

AC – CiTEA’s findings are important to share. It highlights the gaps. We are very good at not making matters worse, but we need to be conscious of impact. We don’t want to undermine the good work that other groups are doing. Shouldn’t have to run it by everyone, but to keep an awareness of it.

PM – SOLT not being able to do anything without ALC and CM (& ATG) at the table. If they need these two people at the table whos examples are terrible then there is a problem. It is the stuff of tory government. In terms of what we are saying, we should encourage people to call things out at the moment of them happening. The more people that hear ‘it’s not ok’ is a good thing.

VM – In response ot ACs thoughts, the way that I would welcome it as someone less informed would be a bit of reportage of the situations and then an on-the-ground description of what is happening. Is there a third part too of ‘the little things you can do’. 

JU – two fold thought of repercussions of empowering people speak up.

PM – perhaps speaking up when they have an example of 

NE – finding language that people feel empowered to use. EXAMPLE – assertion vs aggression. Once you have ‘learnt the lines’ you can communicate it. As FMTW could we create 

 

Supporting Freelancers Meeting

Minutes from meeting on wednesday can be found here – links to the later conversation of what FMTW do.

MD – A lot of freelancers would like others to act on their behalf, and we want to encourage and empower people to take action.

Talked about what we can offer to freelancers. Letter writing support. 1-2-1 support or a clinic. Signposting and creating a database of resources. Do we need legal support?

PC – encouraging people by sharing the tone and model of the letters we have shared in the past. Drawing lines in the sand, which feels adversarial. Being open to all possibile outcomes that could be counted as a “win”.

VM – ‘Clinic’ – the reverberations of cinderella. Having a FMTW cup of tea clinic “between 2-5”. Is there a way of having a GP surgery. SH had a connection at the Donmar where we could make this work.

 

Agenda points

Continuing work on the FMTW Questions Document – take a look at the document for further discussion and recording here: 

AOB 

PC – Backstage Niche – Josie to contact!!!

ACTION POINTS RECAP

  • Josie to contact Backstage Niche re ABTT Theatre Show ASAP.
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