The ACT tax and rate-payers provide the money that is allocated by Arts-ACT to arts organisations, and those organisations’ applications for funding should reflect the need to pay staff properly.
A Canberra arts organisation recently advertised two contracted positions for which they propose to pay an average of between $40 and $80 A DAY. The positions are formal engagements, with superannuation paid at 9.5 per cent.
It is a reality that a lot of volunteer energy goes into arts activities of all kinds. But creating a sort of twilight zone, neither actually paid nor volunteer, for employment where what is on offer is “between $1,500 and $3,000 plus super total” for what is listed as “two days a week for six weeks, then ramped up (by an unspecified number of days) for a further several weeks, then more-than-full-time for a week, followed by reporting and wrap-up activities” – at least 300 hours – seems exploitative.
If the ACT Government regards a festival or arts activity as being worthy of public funding, that funding should cover fair payment for the arts workers.
Over to you. What do you think?