Update on the draft New Pay Standards for Artists & Arts Workers

NAVA's next steps in collaboration with the sector. Illustration by Emily Johnson.

Early last month, NAVA released its draft new Pay Standards for Artists and Arts Workers together with a feedback survey as part of a major revision of the Code of Practice, which has been met with vastly different responses across the sector.

This draft is the culmination of thorough analysis of the data and industry feedback that NAVA has collected over numerous years as well as benchmarking against a number of national and international tools. For more information on how we arrived at these figures, see Revision of NAVA's Fees & Wages Schedule.

While the survey was due to close yesterday, we have received multiple requests for more time and have therefore left the survey open. Further responses to the draft in the coming weeks are most welcome.

As explained in the release of the draft, there are some areas that need further work and consideration including, but not limited to, accessibility, collaborations, public art, touring shows and the application of superannuation.

Some of the responses we have received have indicated that the rates in the draft are still too low, whilst others, particularly organisations who rely solely on capped government funding, do not feel that the funding they receive has the capacity to cover rate increases.

Among a real mix of opinions and views, the feedback to date tells us we have not successfully struck the balance between conciseness and clarity. We are therefore working on this as well as developing some case studies to assist artists and organisations with the application of the rates in different contexts.

As part of the open request for feedback we expected some practical suggestions for the new payment standards. What would be most useful for NAVA going forward is if the various networks who have submitted letters of concern, or are working on their feedback, could provide some figures that show what you are currently paying. NAVA is also very keen to hear suggestions for what you think might be a fair and achievable increase to support the sustainability of artists' careers.

Our next steps will be to review the information received, meet with various stakeholders and host further consultation meetings. What's Fair? an open discussion about NAVA’s draft Pay Standards for Artists & Arts Workers is also being held 4pm - 6pm Tuesday 29 October 2019 at Firstdraft, Woolloomooloo, NSW.