Behind the Stage Newsletter nº 1

Welcome to the ‘Behind the Stage’ world!

When the magic happens on the stage and while you’re enjoying a concert and performance, a world of activity is taking place behind the stage.
As in other sectors, management and workers are best placed to discuss and establish the framework and methods related to working conditions and in addressing challenges of the sector influenced by changes in society.
With the precise aim of making the sector resilient for the future and increase the capacities of employers and those in management positions, at the beginning of 2018 Pearle*-Live Performance Europe launched Behind the Stage, a project that seeks to improve industrial relations and provide a new start for social dialogue in the EU live performance sector.
The red thread throughout this project is the European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed by the European Commission and validated by Heads of State in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 17 November 2017.
Throughout 2018 and 2019 Behind the Stage will be undertaking a series of activities that include four capacity building meetings in Estonia, Belgium, Bulgaria and Portugal and a high-profile Awards Event taking place in Brussels on 22nd November, 2018.
We’ll be publishing a newsletter (this is the first one of four) every six months after each meeting to share what was experienced and learnt, and which we hope you find both informative and entertaining.
Happy Reading!



Report 1st capacity building meeting Tallinn
Spotlight on Spain and Scotland
Announcement: Pearle* 2018 Awards



The EUROPEAN PILLAR OF SOCIAL RIGHTS is a set of 20 principles aimed at delivering new and more effective rights for its citizens, including the requirement to provide support for increased capacity of social partners to promote social dialogue.
WHAT IS THE NEW START FOR SOCIAL DIALOGUE? On 5 March in Brussels, a high-level conference in the presence of the President of the European Commission marked a new start for social dialogue by showing its commitment to strengthening the dialogue with social partners.
SOCIAL DIALOGUE at all levels is a prerequisite for the functioning of Europe’s social market economy and crucial to promote both competitiveness and fairness.
The NEW START FOR SOCIAL DIALOGUE includes ways to strengthen social dialogue throughout the EU with EU cross-industry social partners and their national affiliates from all Member States, as well as EU sector social partner organisations.


Behind the Stage First Capacity Building Meeting
Tallinn, Estonia. Friday 25th & Saturday 26th May, 2018
The beautiful medieval city of Tallinn, located on the Gulf of Finland on the shores of the Baltic Sea provided a unique setting for the first Behind the Stage capacity building meeting. Perfect weather and eighteen hours of daylight gave delegates ample time to attend the plenary sessions, workshops and seminars included in the programme, as well as to take the opportunity to enjoy a concert or theatre show and enjoy catching up with colleagues. The forty Pearle* members who attended -representatives from 27 associations based in 19 countries of which 55% were women- were delighted to welcome observers from live performance organisations in Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia itself.
The meeting took place in the majestic Estonian National Opera building and was hosted by EETEAL, the Estonian Association of Performing Arts Institutions, a non-profit association of employers established in 1991.


How we involved Pearle members in the creation of the Tallinn programme
One of the main objectives of the Behind the Stage project is to provide a space in which the delegates have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and deepen reflection on the role and meaning of employers and on the specific issues of change which are currently impacting the live performance sector.

In order to make the project as relevant as possible, and in the context of the areas covered by the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Pearle* office launched two surveys among its members at the beginning of the year to determine the topics that most concern them and to gather information on what they are currently doing in those areas of concern (the detailed results of both surveys will be included in the final report on the project due to be published in the Spring of 2020).
Their replies provided the basis for the programme which covered themes that ranged from how to innovate and optimise relations with the workforce, third parties or the government; how to address the shortage of certain skills in the sector; Negotiation and the Art of Making Constructive Agreements; the latest changes in European legislation; initiatives undertaken by the sector in the context of the #metoo campaign or how to achieve genuine gender equality in live performance organisations.
The common denominator of all the sessions was the sharing of ideas, experiences and information which could lead to the implementation of fresh initiatives in members’ respective countries. As a point of departure for debate several delegates were asked in advance to prepare brief presentations of examples of best practices in their countries (see “case studies” below). The general conclusion reached at the end of the two days was the need to continue exploring in more depth the subjects covered in Tallinn in future meetings, in order to find concrete solutions to the issues affecting the sector that could be applied from a united European position.


Spotlight on two Case studies from Spain and Scotland

f228356dcf817ddf85993270700ef129Health and safety in orchestras. A clear example of successful social dialogue between employers and the workforce working closely together for a common cause is the case of the Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras (AEOS) and the Spanish Association of Professional Symphony Orchestra Musicians (AMPOS), who are jointly undertaking the arduous task of trying to achieve governmental recognition of many of the ailments afflicting musicians as occupational diseases. As well as joining forces to lobby the Ministry of Health the two associations organised a national congress in 2017 focused on musicians’ occupational diseases which was attended by musicians, orchestra management, ample representation from the medical sector, social partners and government health officials.
f228356dcf817ddf85993270700ef129Combatting abuse of power and sexual harassment. In response to the #metoo campaign and the need to urgently address the abuse of power and sexual harassment in the sector, the Federation of Scottish Theatre has been working with sector partners to support the development of shared policies and clear, practical guidance targeted on key areas of concern to its members. Discussions held at members meetings and the organization of workshops bringing together participants to discuss the issues and share ideas about how to move forward are among some of the initiatives undertaken. A dedicated section on the FST website includes advice, helplines, information about training and reporting.
More on the Federation of Scottish Theatre website


IN THE SPOTLIGHT – straight from Tallinn

Gender equality
f228356dcf817ddf85993270700ef129The European Pillar of Social Rights places great emphasis on its commitment to a Union which promotes equality between men and women as well as rights and equal opportunities for all. It was therefore very enlightening to welcome Christian Veske, stakeholder relations coordinator at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), who gave a presentation in which he introduced the work and activities addressed by EIGE and provided key figures and findings on gender equality resulting from the data collection and research the Institute has undertaken. EIGE is an autonomous body of the European Union, established to contribute to and strengthen the promotion of gender equality, including gender mainstreaming in all EU policies and the resulting national policies, and the fight against discrimination based on sex, as well as to raise EU citizens’ awareness of gender equality. Its mission is to become the European knowledge centre on gender equality issues.
More information on EIGE website


“All arts should be for all. We must start to work on equality much earlier and reach a point where somebody’s gender is no longer an issue when applying for a job”. Ana Vicente, PERFORMART, Portugal about the workshop on gender equality in Tallinn

Did you know that… in 2005 the European social partners (ETUC, Businesseurope – CEEP – UEAPME) already agreed already a Framework of Actions on Gender Equality?

Negotiation; the Art of Making Constructive Agreements

Negotiation is an integral part of the daily work of people in leadership positions and takes the shape of both formal meetings about contracts and other agreements but also as a wide range of other, less formal, result-driven dialogues.

The purpose of this seminar and workshop led by the expert Malene Rix was to strengthen the participants’ negotiation skills and also to draw attention to the many less obvious day-to-day situations, where negotiation can be used as a both constructive and efficient leadership tool.
This enlightening and entertaining session began by questioning and redefining what negotiation really is, analysing what we feel about it and the challenges it presents. It then focused on classical reactions to disagreement, how to deal with disagreement and what Rix defines as the “four phases of negotiation”, that is four “tick boxes” which help guide the process in an efficient, open and positive way. (More information on Malene Rix website).


“The seminar was practical and hands-on with lots of ideas I took back home with me. It showed me that negotiating is not about a logical story but about finding out about how to connect and listening to others”. Liesbeth Dejonghe, oKo, Belgium who took part in the training on negotiating in Tallinn

Did you know that… Any Reason’s Far Better Than No Reason and Nearly as Good as an Excellent One


Pearle* 2018 Awards

Call for Applications is now open!

Submission deadline is Wednesday, 12th September 15 at 23:59 CEST