TUC Cultural Manifesto for Yorkshire and the Humber launched

By agency reporter
March 17, 2018

TUC Yorkshire and the Humber has adopted a Cultural Manifesto for the region. Drawn up by the Regional TUC’s Creative and Leisure Industries Committee, the manifesto puts forward distinct policies for local and regional decision makers as well as measures for employers and engagers of creative and leisure industries sector workers to adopt as basic employment practice.

TUC Yorkshire and the Humber seeks the endorsement of the following policies by local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and ‘metro mayors’ in the event of regional devolution. It also calls on all candidates standing for election to public office to support these policies:

  • Defend and when possible increase local authority spending on libraries, arts, heritage and culture. We call on all local authorities to commit themselves to work towards investing at least 50p per resident per week in the sector.
  • Maintain and regularly update a comprehensive arts, heritage and culture strategy for each local authority. Arts and culture must also be at the heart of regeneration. In the context of the Northern Powerhouse and devolution proposals, regional co-operation between local authorities in developing arts, heritage and culture strategies is essential.
  • Encourage good employment practices in arts, heritage and cultural organisations that receive public funding. Public funding must be contingent upon all client organisations becoming accredited Living Wage employers and formally recognising the appropriate trades unions, entering into collective bargaining in good faith, adhering to applicable trade union agreements, and fully complying with health and safety legislation.
  • To ensure that wherever possible local public investment in the arts is spent locally, benefits local workers and local communities and provides for local needs and wants.
  • Improve Diversity. Local authorities need to support the creative industries’ efforts to improve the diversity of the sector’s workforce. Education authorities need to support the training of the cultural workers of the future, and in the context of the English Baccalaureate, to recognise the importance of school students being able to study creative, artistic and technical subjects at GCSE.
  • Lobby Central Government. The Government threatens public investment in the arts through cuts to local authority funding and the implementation of the English Baccalaureate. Local authorities need to continue lobbying central government for increased public investment in a thriving regional creative and leisure industries sector, and to protect and enhance arts education.

Regarding employment, the manifesto asserts that far too often, the creative and leisure industries are blighted by poor working conditions, pay levels less than government minima, harassment and bullying and even an expectation that professional arts practitioners should work without pay. Such practices need to be eradicated.

The manifesto highlights the disparity of DCMS and Arts Council England funding at £69 per head for Londoners and £4.58 per head for the rest of England and demands that this is redressed. The manifesto identifies free movement, copyright protection, workers’ rights, the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and arts funding as key issues for the creative and leisure industries arising from Brexit. The manifesto also calls for all funding opportunities to be promoted to and accessible to grassroots organisations.   

* Read the Manifesto here

* TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.