With inflation rates at 10+% across UK and large increases in travel accommodation and food costs SMA is monitoring recent Union claims closely and also campaigning for sustainable fees above the minima in Equity agreements for experienced SMs, plus realistic Working Away (subsistence) and Touring Allowances which reflect real costs in 2023. For years our members have been telling producers that touring rates and Working Away allowances are insufficient to cover their costs in many cities and towns across the UK. Yet some producers are still paying a miserly £260 touring allowance which means many members have to subsidise their touring costs for part or all of tours themselves.
This plus the almost standard practice of paying Equity Agreement Minimum rates for even very experienced SM teams has led to a reduction in the number of SMs available to work in the industry and shortages which are all too common: since Covid many members have voted with their feet and pay packets and moved to better pay and conditions outside Theatre and Live Events, and producers are beginning to realise that pay is a huge factor in their inability to attract and keep the experienced and well-trained SMs that they need to run ever more complex shows.
SMA also continues to campaign for proper credits in programmes and front of house for key stage management staff – representing teams who continue to have a major positive input into shows and events across the country – work which still frequently goes unrecognised