|Issue No 47||24 March 2000|
SOCOG Dances: Budget Not There
By Peter Ross
Two weeks into the MEAA campaign to gain recognition for professional performers involved in the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sydney 2000 Games, SOCOG says, "We don' have room in the $50,000,000 budget to pay the performers."
Australian performers, many who would have to forgo paid work to be involved in the ceremonies, are bitterly disappointed to be denied the opportunity to work on the Games like many other workers.
Alliance Vice President, Actor's Division, Pattie Amphlett, is astounded that performers are still undervalued in this country. "The only option professional performers have to be involved in the ceremonies is if the agree to do so on a volunteer basis. No other industry has been called upon to make the same commitment."
Specialty performer Hemlock says, "I'm continually being approached by SOCOG and told how unique and specialist my skills are. Problem is they're not prepared to pay for them."
The Alliance negotiating team has managed to drag another twenty paid performer positions out of SOCOG bringing the total to 167 paid artists. Two weeks ago the sum total of paid performers was zero. Other concessions include:
An Enterprise Agreement for all employed performers, technicians and musicians working on the ceremonies which will set out terms and conditions of work and minimum rates of pay.
A guarantee that all sub-contractors will be obliged to ensure that all workers are covered by the agreement wages and conditions. A new set of guidelines to be applied the 11,000 volunteer participants.
Negotiations are to continue. The Alliance is still convinced that further funds forperformers can be found within the Ceremonies budget.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005