Strike Avoided as ENO Staffers Accept Offer=

Classic Arts News   Strike Avoided as ENO Staffers Accept Offer=
Strike action at the English National Opera has been avoided after staff agreed to a three-year pay deal, according to BECTU, the union representing the employees.

In December, members of BECTU voted overwhelmingly to strike for better pay and benefits.

The new deal, which members voted by a majority of two to one to accept, includes salary increases in excess of inflation for three years, retroactive to August 1, 2005, as well as a larger employer contribution to employee pension plans.

BECTU official Willy Donaghy said, "This new deal is a testament to the unity of our members at ENO. The offer includes pay increases in real terms for each of the next three years and against the background of this new found stability for our members we look forward to a considerable improvement in our industrial relations with the ENO."

The ENO has been plagued by a series of financial and management crises recently. Artistic director Sean Doran resigned last November; chairman Martin Smith departed under fire weeks later.

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