We have been working with BECTU to change our Front of House operation from a system based almost entirely on casual work to one based on a mixture of permanent and seasonal contracts supported by some casual work. This change has created four new full time roles at the theatre.

Whilst this is undoubtedly good news for stability, guarantee of earnings and job security, it does have implications for some of the current staff. Β Their concerns are being addressed and we have agreed a proposal for affected staff with BECTU.

As regards activities on social media, we cannot comment on grievances posted online by anonymous individuals. However, now as at any other time, if anyone has a complaint they wish us to address, we would like to hear from them.

David Lan and Lucy Woollatt

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5 thoughts on “

  1. Statements posted by The Young Vic chairman and The Young Vic itself are meaningless and not really addressing any issues raised on the blog.

    The Young Vic know very well which dismissals are being referred to, they choose not to comment because they have been unfair.

    Well done Young Vic for mentioning BECTU here and paying them lip service. At what stage were any of your employees contacted to discuss decisions which would have major implications on their lives and their lives alone? And only after pressure was exerted were BECTU brought in… but mentioning BECTU is meaningless now, they had to be forced by their own members to fight for adequate compensation. No one can be reassured by BECTU anymore, their reputation is in tatters. So to mention BECTU now does not wash.

    I wish the complaints from FOH were merely FOH complaints. They aren’t and they can’t be because they are a micro of the macro… as is being indicated on the blog, most staff are afraid for their jobs and will not speak out. The emphasis has shifted from a holistic approach to a more compartmentalised one. .. where workers are stuck in their own departments and do not mingle, a bit like the NT… this is due to a regime change at the top.

    Where once there was a creative synthesis- which in a small but crucial way involved the ushers and their treatment of the audiences- there is now disparity. Where once I was proud to actually wear my Young Vic T-shirt on the street ( forbidden) and eagerly answer questions from the public about its plays, I now wear it in bed. That coveted red t-shirt…

    I was just an usher but a firm believer in what the YV was trying to achieve. I do dead end jobs so I can practise my own art. This is the life I have chosen, I chose the job at the YV because it actually gave me meaning, the idealism meant more than the job, it made monotonous ushering seem worth while because in a small way, we were helping to extend a hand to people and say ‘come in’… whilst being able to watch over and over, ground breaking questioning productions. I am not some frustrated angry person who is speaking out because my life isn’t working, I am speaking because I care and if that is wrong, misguided or whatever, then you may say that of everyone when they choose to care passionately about anything. ..I agree with a comment made by a full time and years long member of staff not representing FOH views, when they say the Young Vic has lost and is losing its most passionate and dedicated workers and supporters, and that this fact is concealed from the Artistic Director by some members of senior management.

    To anyone who thinks these issues are resolved now because BECTU have waded in and everyone can go phew! they are not. For as long as the Young Vic continues to be blase about how they treat their employees there will always be a problem….

    Young Vic, you have taught us, your own employees, to expect better. You have taught us too well. And that is what is demanded now- better. Just better.

    n/b- as a note I do not wish to detract from the artistic work the Young Vic endeavours to concern itself with. I do not wish undermine the work some of its senior staff are preoccupied with. In the end though, people matter more. In the end a petition is better than a play. May be. I only write this because I loved the YV and hate to see what is happening to it now.

    It is to be regretted that all that has been happening over the last few days has probably caused stress and anxiety. I think everyone regrets this and there is probably a wish that things could have been resolved in other more adult ways. Hearts and minds are at stake here.

  2. Hello
    I think back over the years about the numerous astonishing and inspiring
    performances I’ve seen at the Young Vic. The theatre has never been afraid
    to put on productions that confront issues of social injustice head-on.
    I’ve often left the theatre feeling enlightened and immensely grateful
    that there still exists an established, respected venue in London that
    still has the moral strength to continue to do this.

    Surely then you can’t be the same people who have just laid off their
    entire box office staff in one fell swoop…with the very minimum of
    consultation? A wholesale sacking the little people, the powerless ones.
    Surely not. This is the sort of inequality so frequently condemned from
    your own stage?

    The Chairman of the Young Vic Board commented that ‘redundancies’ are not
    being made. It seems that ‘restructuring’ is happening. Yet the Young Vic
    are arranging it so that some of their employees end up without a job.
    This type of artifice rings of the 80’s recession…and the wholesale
    removal of peoples livelihoods.

    I really hope that the more socially and politically aware amongst your
    audiences and (remaining) staff are fully aware of the hypocrisy and irony
    here, and that they act in accordance with their own morals. (It seems
    like some of your staff already are…
    http://www.youngvicushersunite.blogspot.co.uk/ )

    You have lost my respect and you should be ashamed and embarrassed by this
    situation. Who actually deserves to be forced out of the Young Vic ?
    Perhaps changes at the top rather than at the bottom would be more apt.

    Sadly…I’ll not be returning to your theatre.

    Ex-audience member.

  3. I was sent a link to this after posting a comment about the @youngvicushers blog on twitter. I would have hoped for a better response – one that acknowledges that there seem to be genuine issues with staff/management relationships in the organisation and one that commits to listen to staff and engage with these issues in an open and constructive way, demonstrating desire to have a happy and supported workforce at all levels. It might not have been the intention, but this comes across as a bit formal and cold.

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