Category Archives: Union

How did I get here?

How did I get here?

It’s amazing how fast time can go. When you’re busy it whizzes by and suddenly you’re in a place you could never have predicted. The last few years have been a roller coaster of emotion, with both physical and mental barriers to overcome. I feel like I fought hard to get here, to be a woman, a worker, a musician, an educator, a performer, a union activist, a politician. Now I’m almost here I don’t know how I did it. Sometimes I think I died in that coma last year, and this is the dream. Sometimes I think I can’t do it. Sometimes I think it’s too much. Sometimes I think I should give it all up. But something keeps me going, something tells me this is right.

Tomorrow is the local and euro elections and I’m standing as a labour councillor for Gainsborough ward in Ipswich. I joined the Labour Party because of my links with my trade union, the musicians union. I’m currently on the executive committee of the MU, in my third term. I remember popping along to an Ipswich labour event on being a councillor, it was interesting. Ipswich labour are very active and I got involved, selected, and here I am.

I wanted to do this to help people, I believe you should get involved if you want to make change. And change is vital to moving forward, making a fairer, better place for us all. The Tory liberal coalition inspired me. Their privatisation, cuts and devastation of so many things that are great about the uk angered me. I was outraged to see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Through this negative time I felt now more than ever was the time to get involved and make my tiny part count.

I feel the same about the MU, a trade union for musicians of all kinds. We need to be there and stand together for musicians. We quite often work alone as self employed minstrel types, looking after everything from self promotion to tax returns. So I feel having a trade union to look our for us, help us and stand up for us in times of need is vital. That’s why I’m on the Executive committee. I think it’s important to give a bit of time to help our profession, musicians and music.

I also teach, tomorrow we have Ofsted visiting us. I teach because I like the students. I’m in FE so they are 16 upwards. A great age, full of ideas, opinions and bright futures. I also lead a community choir, Suffolk Soul Singers. It brings people together to use their voices, make music and perform.

Music in all it’s weird and wonderful forms will always be part of my life. It is my talent, gift, passion profession and pastime. I love to listen, I love to create. Music moves me, heals me, frustrates me, inspires me….

sometimes it’s the answer, sometimes the question.

I know I will never understand it all, I don’t think we are supposed to. image


Musicians’ Union continues the fight for Warhorse musicians

Musicians’ Union continues the fight for Warhorse musicians

I find it shocking that the National Theatre has sacked five musicians from the west end production of Warhorse. Worse still they have then started using a recording some of which was made outside the uk so is not eligible for MU rates. The MU is fighting for the musicians and have been told there is a robust case for breach of contract. When musicians get a show they expect to have that job for the life of the show, and so they should.
I’m please this had made it to the mainstream media as I hope it will reach the theatre going public. People do appreciate live music in its many forms, but especially in west end theatre. For the same ticket price audiences now listen to a recording rather than musicians playing, it’s just not acceptable.
Another reason for Union membership, it’s important. Especially in a case such as this with just five musicians, alone they would not get far taking on the likes of NT and SOLT. It just goes to show if we stand together we can do more. Now they have 30,000 musicians behind them, the MU that will fight their corner, for what is right and fair.
Break a Leg!