Agreement reached on artists' fees

Following intensive collective bargaining, the German Stage Association and the artists' unions GDBA, VdO and BFFS have agreed in the fourth round on a new salary regulation for solo employees and stage technicians. According to this agreement, the minimum salary will be raised in two stages from €2,000 as of September 1, 2022 to €2,550 and from January 1, 2023 to €2,715. Likewise the guest fees are increased accordingly and experience thereby also an increase of more than 35 per cent.

In the apron the German stage association had already given its members the normative recommendation to raise the minimum fee to €2,500 from 1 September 2022. A joint compromise has now been reached.

The collective bargaining parties have also agreed to make the minimum wage more dynamic from the 2023/2024 pay rounds. This ensures that it will develop linearly in the same way as other stage salaries.

The agreement also includes the introduction of a step in the form of a dynamic employment bonus of €200 on top of the minimum salary at the start of the 2023/2024 season. Solo employees and stage technicians who have worked for more than two years at theaters that are members of the German Stage Association will then receive a minimum of €2,915.

Further structural increases in fees from autumn 2023 and 2024 are linked to a collective agreement on part-time work.

The BFFS was involved in the last two rounds of negotiations and will co-sign this agreement as a new partner in the negotiating group of artists' unions.

Lisa Jopt, Executive President of the GDBA: "This is a historic joint success. The dynamisation of fees has been an issue for the unions for over thirty years. The fact that stage artists are paid like kitchen help and messengers compared to the public sector is over. We will tackle further improvements."

Klara Deutschmann, member of the board of BFFS: "With this collective agreement, an important step has been taken towards fair remuneration for actors and other solo artists. We are pleased to fight in the future in negotiation community with GDBA and VdO for the improvement of working conditions at German stage houses."

Tobias Könemann, Managing director VdO: "With this wage agreement an important step was made to counteract the negative development of remunerations in artistic employment relationships at German theaters. Now it is time to create appropriate and binding salary regulations for freelance artists as well."

Claudia Schmitz, Managing Director of the Deutsche Bühnenverein (German Stage Association): "With this collective agreement and the gradual increase in the minimum salary, we are ensuring significantly improved conditions for artistic employees at the theaters. In addition, the agreement creates the necessary legal certainty for the theaters, which is particularly necessary in the relationship with the legal entities. It is important that we were able to reach an agreement with the unions on a gradual increase in the minimum wage. Now we can take the next steps, such as the urgently needed agreement on part-time work for solo employees. Our explicit appeal goes to the legal entities: the current agreement represents a financial challenge for the theaters that they cannot shoulder alone. The theaters urgently need the commitment of the legal entities to share this additional expense. This deal makes us all - together - responsible."

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