FREELANCERS MAKE THEATRE WORK
WEEKLY MEETING MINUTES
09:30-11:30, FRIDAY 25 March
Chair: Anna Fleischle
Minutes: Kelsie Acton
Apologies: Steffan Donnelly , Prema Mehta, Bill Bankes-Jones, Leo Wan, Anne McNulty, Peter Brathwaite, Peter McKintosh, Matt Humphrey
Leaving at 10:30: Susan Kempster, Andy Whyment, Beth Steel,
Leaving at 11am: Adele Thomas, Vicki Mortimer, Paule Constable, EJ, Paul Carey Jones, possibly Athena.
Arrival time 0920-0930
1. Welcome (9.30-9.35)
2. Introductions (9.35-9.45)
3. Updates & reports: (9.45– 10.05)
NT workshops update (Beth) (9:45-9:50)
- National Theatre 12th – 16th of April, is giving us space, staff and access budget
- Workshops leaders have been confirmed
- Workshop leaders are doing it for free
- 200 submissions so far!
- If people can circulate the information to their networks that would be great
- FMTW people can apply to the workshops too
- If this goes well could we talk to the National Theatre about how we do something similar in places outside of London
- Adele will talk to NTW
- Andy will talk with Sue Emmas about the fact that this is happening so she can share, and maybe look to future collaborations
- EJ points out that there have been lots of workshops as freelancer support – there’s a conversation to be had about branding and about what this does around the moment of going back to work
- Action Point: Everyone interested in taking the workshops out of London will meet on Thursday, 10am
Core Values update and sign off: (Andy /EJ). (9:50-9:55)
- Lots of work to make the values short and sharp
- We will do the work to figure out how to do these things, but maybe we take a break next week?
- Everyone is for it
- A separate point for migrant workers
- Action Point: We will take the discussion around migrants in the core value to Slack
Birkbeck directors’ MA course (Vicki) (9:55-10:00)
- If anyone wants to go talk please let Vicki know in Slack
Engaging with devolved nations (EJ) (10:00-10:05)
- Freelancers in Scotland don’t feel like FMTW is relevant to them (and the Big Freelancer Report didn’t help)
- We should be more explicit and visible about how we are connecting with the devolved nations
- Action Point: John offers to write a newsletter about the situation in Scotland in two weeks
- EJ suggests that we decide what our relationship to Scotland is because it will take work to maintain that relationship; freelancers are disenfranchised and angry – there may be useful energy there
- Action Point: In two weeks time this topic will have a big slot at the Friday meeting
4. Big Freelancer Report: (10.05- 10.30)
Any feed back on report. Any thoughts on what it should lead to – how we can utilise it. How can we support some of the action points and suggestions for a better future? Could these lead into new projects? How could future Labs also feed into this?
- A general strike?
- Paule proposes that we want pay for meetings
- EJ proposes that we turn up and introduce ourselves with stats
- Mimi points out that we are putting freelancers who are back at work at most risk
- Susan points out that getting coordinated action in the freelance sector is difficult
- Steven distinguishes from ‘at cost’ and ‘at risk’
- Titas points out that we need to use the report, start talking to organisations and make sure they read it
- Kelsie points out that the report is terrible about prioritising the recommendations and that we need clear demands to make change
- Nikki suggests that this discussion links in with the fair pay conversion and the reset better work (which will be discussed after the break
- Shanko suggests that clockifying and having conversations with buildings about how much we actual work is a way into this for people who are early career and maybe people should just demand what they need and we’ll synthesise later
- Paule asks if we come up with a model of five ethical points then its a good model for the industry
***BREAK*** (10:30 – 10:40)
5. Action points from the discussion before the break. (10.40 – 11.00)
What next? There is budget left, what do we do with it?
6. Reset Better: (Nikki) The information on Reset Better has been posted into slack. Nikki will update. To discuss how we may support (11:00 – 11:15)
- Have created a charter that wants to reform how we work in the industry
- AAPTLE will be taking it on
- Should FMTW sign up to the Charter?
- Stage Directors UK have a similar project running which AAPTLE will try to link up with
- Nikki says it needs more weight and voices!
- Steven asks why we work and behave the way we do?
- Mimi and Nikki and Anna point out that often there is a lack of clarity about what hours people work on what, and its important to make this visible
- Mimi says being paid for prep would be helpful to feeling secure if theatres shut down again
- Action Point: We think about the actions and meetings that should come out of this and come back in two weeks to discuss them
- Action Point: We send an email summarising this discussion with the links to the Reset Better to everyone
7. Information Sharing Project – Update (Titas) (11:15-11:20)
- Titas met with the access group and it prompted good questions
- Action Point: Titas will put a call out for people to be involved and setting up a meeting
- Steven suggest that we separate out calls for work and in
9. AOB – (11:20 – 11:30)
Question from Prema: Following the meeting a few of us had about the Fuel/ GLA programme, I saw a call out from Liverpool about their work on their Freelance Working Agreement & Directory (March for The Arts). Their response is under the Future Labs slack channel (see 22 March). They answered my questions on how they are developing their working agreement with the involvement of freelancers and organisations, and asked if it would be worth them engaging with some of FMTW members in order to get our input on the working agreement and to feed back to their committee too. They are also interested in setting up a meeting.
Action Point: This will go into the callout section of the minutes. Niki and Titas will feed into the call out section of the minutes email
Action Point: Al will ask for a newsletter writer on Slack