Efforts for Fair Payment of Freelancers
Efforts for Fair Payment of Freelancers

Efforts for Fair Payment of Freelancers

During the last few weeks and months, a number of initiatives have been formed on different administrative and political levels, advocating for fee guidelines and minimum payments in the freelance music sector. Some of these take up previous ideas and groundwork, carried out by the Deutsche Orchestervereinigung, Tonkünstlerverband Baden-Württemberg and Bayern, the Sächsischer Musikrat, and others. However, in some respects, a superordinate perspective—which would enable to speak for as many freelancers as possible and to make plausible statements for the whole sector—is still missing. So far, there is no central entity that would bring together and concentrate the efforts and considerations of the following recent initiatives and working groups.

  • A meeting upon invitation of German federal minister of cultural affairs, Claudia Roth, and minister of labour, Hubertus Heil, on the topic »Improving Social Security of Artists« on 30 May 2022. Various protagonists and freelance organisations from the cultural industry were involved, and a report on the subjects of discussion has been published. At the moment it seems unclear whether and when the exchange will be continued, and if the initiative will result in the forming of a permanent committee.
  • A meeting upon invitation of the German conference of state ministers of culture for the newly founded commission »Fair Payment of Artists« on 22 June 2022. Representatives from the music industry and professional associations were discussing possibilities of public cultural funding. After the project had been previously announced in a press release of March 2022, there is no published documentation of the results of the meeting or the intended following procedures until now.
  • A proposal of the Section of Arts and Culture of trade union Ver.di for the calculation of base payments for freelancers, launched on 29 June 2022. The published article presents the general principles of the calculation model, but does not include further insights into the numbers and figures, the design of which appears to be subject to further debate.
  • A constitutive meeting of a working group »Fair Payment«, initiated from the executive committee of Deutscher Musikrat, the umbrella organisation of the German music sector, on 13 July 2022. The cast for the working group, consisting of representatives of unions and professional associations, was decided upon unilaterally. A coverage of the results and future perspectives is yet to be seen.
  • A general survey of freelance fees and earnings, launched on 15 July 2022 by the new initiative SO_LOS in collaboration with ver.di. This cross-industry data collection, named »Let’s Speak about Money!«, goes far beyond the cultural sector and is intended to provide an orientation guide for collective and individual bargaining of fees. A publication of the results of the survey is announced for October 2022.

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