English National Opera chorus to vote on strike action over pay

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Members of the chorus at the English National Opera (Eno) are to take part in a ballot on industrial action over pay.

The vote on strike action, to be held by Equity, the trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners, is in response to proposed pay cuts of 25% for 44 employees, and the potential loss of jobs for four members of staff.

The changes may also impact working hours, additional pay for Sunday working and overtime pay.

Cressida Pollock, chief executive at the English National Opera, said: “We are committed to preserving a permanent chorus at Eno. However, we have some difficult decisions to make over coming weeks as we seek to find ways to remodel our business so that we can weather a £5 million cut from our core Arts Council grant.

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“It is not our intention to further casualise the workforce at Eno. We remain committed to retaining a permanent chorus, orchestra and backstage team.

“While we remain committed to our permanent ensembles, we also recognise that we have to make significant cost savings in order for Eno to be a more sustainable organisation in the long-term. We are working towards a solution with the Eno chorus that would see them maintained as a permanent ensemble but with a greater degree of flexibility in their contracts, which reflects the economic reality of Eno’s situation.