At present, almost all London theatres are dark on Sundays, which closes off a potentially huge revenue day. However, The Stage newspaper reports that theatre unions Bectu and the Society of London Theatres (SOLT) will soon put the matter to the vote. Their individual members will be polled on a deal that will offer technical staff an option to work on a Sunday for double pay. The offer would also include a 5.5 percent pay hike and other benefits such as maternity leave. Bectu has given its members until January 14, 2005, to respond.
Other unions, including the Musicians’ Union and Equity, says the paper, allow Sunday openings — but Bectu had not approved any package. Until now. “This is a huge step forward for us,” Bectu’s Willy Donaghy told the paper. “We wanted to ensure that there was a level playing field and no groups were getting paid less than what we said was an unacceptable minimum.”
SOLT’s chief executive Richard Pulford added, “It is an issue that has been discussed for a very long time but it has never been as close to an agreement between the two parties as this.”