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Church Told To Play Pipes Of Peace As Organists Get Workers’ Rights


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Guest Barry Williams

 

 

 

Thank you. These are the matters I referred to in 'Good Legal News'.

 

Mr John Mander has kindly consented to my posting the Press Release which I have now done under the original thread.

 

This is an important decision which we hope will improve the lot of organists in the Church of England.

 

Barry Williams

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Thank you. These are the matters I referred to in 'Good Legal News'.

 

Mr John Mander has kindly consented to my posting the Press Release which I have now done under the original thread.

 

This is an important decision which we hope will improve the lot of organists in the Church of England.

 

Barry Williams

 

 

.........We shall wait and see whether it repercusses as far as the Catholic church.

 

Don't hold your breath!

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Guest Barry Williams

My view is that the rc parish priest has at least , if not more, control over the music as the minister in the Church of England. This constitutes a level of control that indicates employment. However, the Local Religious Centre concession applies. Please see the Website: http://www.organistpublications.co.uk/Index.ht

 

It is under news and upadtes; Chapter seven.

 

As far as I am aware, the rc church has never been invovled in an Employment Tribunal over an organist. There tends to be a 'pay-off' to avoid publicity.

 

Barry Williams

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My view is that the rc parish priest has at least , if not more, control over the music as the minister in the Church of England. This constitutes a level of control that indicates employment.

 

Barry, I can only speak from my own experience but in roughly 30 years of church organ playing, apart from two brief periods playing for the C of E, I have always played for a (Roman) Catholic church, and have always had all but complete control over the music. However, I may just have been lucky!

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

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Guest Barry Williams
Barry, I can only speak from my own experience but in roughly 30 years of church organ playing, apart from two brief periods playing for the C of E, I have always played for a (Roman) Catholic church, and have always had all but complete control over the music. However, I may just have been lucky!

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

 

Thank you. The legal issue in not what you may have been permitted to do, but who had the control, if push came to shove.

 

I suspect that you have been very lucky - as I have been, playing both at St Chad's South Norwood for Father Farmer and the Anglicans.

 

The reality is that the majority of organists are very happy doing their job. The splats always hit the headlines.

 

Incidentally, I have been asked to appear on Radio 4 on Sunday morning about such matters.

 

Barry Williams

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Thank you. The legal issue in not what you may have been permitted to do, but who had the control, if push came to shove.

 

I suspect that you have been very lucky - as I have been, playing both at St Chad's South Norwood for Father Farmer and the Anglicans.

 

The reality is that the majority of organists are very happy doing their job. The splats always hit the headlines.

 

Incidentally, I have been asked to appear on Radio 4 on Sunday morning about such matters.

 

Barry Williams

 

Barry, I remember the late Fr Farmer (and the organ at St Chad's), since I was a parishoner of his for a while when we moved from St Bart's to South Norwood.

 

Do please give the details of your radio broadcast - what prorgamme (Sunday?) and time.

 

Many thanks

 

Peter

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Guest Barry Williams
Barry, I remember the late Fr Farmer (and the organ at St Chad's), since I was a parishoner of his for a while when we moved from St Bart's to South Norwood.

 

Do please give the details of your radio broadcast - what prorgamme (Sunday?) and time.

 

Many thanks

 

Peter

 

The BBC has asked me to stand by for a telephone interview this Sunday (i.e.24th February) at 7.10am on Radio 4 - the 'Sunday' programme. There is a risk that the item will be displaced by any more interesting news or that it will occur very close to 8am.

 

Thank you for your interest.

 

Barry Williams

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Guest Barry Williams

Hi Folks,

 

In the event the broadcast got changed to another station - Mike Rimmer - BBC WM,rather than Radio 4.

 

The effect of the ruling - assuming it is not appealed - is that organists who are employees ( in my view that is everyone) will now get:

  • six weeks' paid holiday a year
  • redundancy pay
  • maternity and sick pay
  • national minimum wage (£5.52 per hour)
  • parental leave
  • protection from age discrimination
  • after one year in post, access to the Employment Tribunal in cases of alleged unfair dismissal
     
    Some of these rights are already available to self employed workers.
     
    No doubt we will hear more of this.
     
    Barry Williams
     
    PS To access the rules about the (non) operation of PAYE on organists' salaries see:
     
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/pommanual/paye23030.htm
     
    Go to the LRC Guide to PAYE 2007 - 2008.

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Hi Folks,

 

In the event the broadcast got changed to another station - Mike Rimmer - BBC WM,rather than Radio 4.

 

The effect of the ruling - assuming it is not appealed - is that organists who are employees ( in my view that is everyone) will now get:

  • six weeks' paid holiday a year
  • redundancy pay
  • maternity and sick pay
  • national minimum wage (£5.52 per hour)
  • parental leave
  • protection from age discrimination
  • after one year in post, access to the Employment Tribunal in cases of alleged unfair dismissal
     
    Some of these rights are already available to self employed workers.
     
    No doubt we will hear more of this.
     
    Barry Williams
     
    PS To access the rules about the (non) operation of PAYE on organists' salaries see:
     
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/pommanual/paye23030.htm
     
    Go to the LRC Guide to PAYE 2007 - 2008.

 

Hi

 

Six weeks holiday is more than most clregy get!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Six weeks holiday is more than most clergy get!

And your point, Tony? :lol:

 

Actually, I was surprised by the six weeks, too. Most of my work is in theatre and my experience of West End shows is that everyone in the cast is entitled to (and obliged to take, under the EU Social Chapter) four weeks paid holiday, which is why all significant parts/characters should have two understudies so that when the principal actor is on holiday the first cover has a cover.

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Is not the situation on leave as here?

 

Presumably the majority of organists who are only required to attend on Sundays and (if appropriate) choir practice nights are part-time employees and only entitled to leave pro rata? If so, would the employment be calculated in terms of hours worked? However it is calculated a pro rata leave entitlement would amount to rather little!

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Is not the situation on leave as here?

 

Presumably the majority of organists who are only required to attend on Sundays and (if appropriate) choir practice nights are part-time employees and only entitled to leave pro rata? If so, would the employment be calculated in terms of hours worked? However it is calculated a pro rata leave entitlement would amount to rather little!

 

 

If you work five days a week and get six week's holiday, it amounts to 30 days. If you work one half day a week, and get six week's holiday, it amounts to three days. But that is perfectly fair, because to get a complete week off work, you only need to take half a day's leave of absence.

 

You surely wouldn't expect to get 30 full days holiday when ones annual commitment to the job is only 52 half days?

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I cannot see how any of this can be achieved. I have been Organist at a Catholic Church for some years now. I play for the usual Sunday Services and feast days etc 50 wks of the year. I am lucky to get 2 wks off and even then thats not without it's problems. My biggest problem is finding someone else who is competent to play while I am away. I fully endorsed what has been said about Organist's rights of Employment. But won't these Vicars just sacked u s all and used some other style of worship ? I can see it happening already there has been a dumbing down of Church Music for some years now.

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Indeed not. That was my point. :)

But Nick's response to you was right. Pro rata you will get 6/52 or 4/52 or whatever fraction of your yearly committment as holiday entitlement. If you work every Sunday morning you'll have 4 or 6 Sunday mornings as holiday.

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As far as I am aware, the rc church has never been invovled in an Employment Tribunal over an organist. There tends to be a 'pay-off' to avoid publicity.

 

Barry Williams

 

In the words of Francis Urquart "You might very well think that - I couldn't possibly comment!" :)

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It's good to see Times readers are able to see the lighter side of all this, witness two letters in last Saturday's edition.

 

The first asks if disputes between organists and vicars are not a "classic example of the age-old struggle between manual workers and white-collar workers."

 

The second tells of the organist who successfully appealed against arbitrary dismissal by his vicar and 'celebrated his victory by offering on the following Sunday a triumphant voluntary based upon Handel's Fixed in His Everlasting Seat'. The picture of the hapless cleric processing out to the accompaniment of such a resounding 'musical two-fingers' raises a welcome chuckle with many, I'm sure.

 

JS

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...'celebrated his victory by offering on the following Sunday a triumphant voluntary based upon Handel's Fixed in His Everlasting Seat'. The picture of the hapless cleric processing out to the accompaniment of such a resounding 'musical two-fingers' raises a welcome chuckle with many, I'm sure.

 

JS

What makes you think that the cleric would have sufficient musical knowledge to enable him to get the joke?

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What makes you think that the cleric would have sufficient musical knowledge to enable him to get the joke?

 

Have to confess, that despite having read the letter in the Times, I failed to spot the manual/white collar pun. I'm fairly impressed that the Times letters editor did so, although I guess the white collar bit isn't too obscure.

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What makes you think that the cleric would have sufficient musical knowledge to enable him to get the joke?

 

 

Going off at a slight tangent, on my last day at school I chose to play the "Wedding March" as the closing voluntary after the morning assembly because of the Headmaster's and Assistant Head's habit of processing side-by-side down the aisle of the school chapel. They got the joke but seemed rather more thunder-faced about it than the congregation. Oh well, it was too late to take way that year's music prize... :)

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Have to confess, that despite having read the letter in the Times, I failed to spot the manual/white collar pun. I'm fairly impressed that the Times letters editor did so, although I guess the white collar bit isn't too obscure.

 

 

Maybe he had a little help from Richard Morrison...

 

JS

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But Nick's response to you was right. Pro rata you will get 6/52 or 4/52 or whatever fraction of your yearly committment as holiday entitlement. If you work every Sunday morning you'll have 4 or 6 Sunday mornings as holiday.

Hmm. My post rather went off at half-cock. Clearly my remaining brain cell was out on the razzle without me. I am fairly sure it still is since I am feeling decidedly thick about this. I wasn't complaining, in case that is what it sounded like. It was just that, the way I initially read Barry's post, it sounded for a moment as though he was saying that all organists with C of E jobs are entitled to six weeks paid leave, irrespective of how many days a week they put in. That clearly did not feel right, so I just though I would query my understanding that part-time employees get leave pro rata and how that might work for organists. I am probably wrong, but I thought part-time employment was usually calculated on the basis of the number of hours worked per week rather than in days or half-days (but how many hours would be a full week in the C of E?) If this is the case and an organist is only required to attend for two hours every Sunday morning, is his leave entitlement 6 x 2 (or 4 x 2) hours?

 

Actually I guess one of the important ramifications of the tribunal's ruling will be that clergy will have to be very careful about not resorting to constructive dismissal. I'm sure organists feel this happens all the time, but I wonder how much it really does.

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Hmm. My post rather went off at half-cock. Clearly my remaining brain cell was out on the razzle without me. I am fairly sure it still is since I am feeling decidedly thick about this. I wasn't complaining, in case that is what it sounded like. It was just that, the way I initially read Barry's post, it sounded for a moment as though he was saying that all organists with C of E jobs are entitled to six weeks paid leave, irrespective of how many days a week they put in. That clearly did not feel right, so I just though I would query my understanding that part-time employees get leave pro rata and how that might work for organists. I am probably wrong, but I thought part-time employment was usually calculated on the basis of the number of hours worked per week rather than in days or half-days (but how many hours would be a full week in the C of E?) If this is the case and an organist is only required to attend for two hours every Sunday morning, is his leave entitlement 6 x 2 (or 4 x 2) hours?

 

Actually I guess one of the important ramifications of the tribunal's ruling will be that clergy will have to be very careful about not resorting to constructive dismissal. I'm sure organists feel this happens all the time, but I wonder how much it really does.

Vox,

 

I think you still have more than the odd brain cell left!

 

I used to employ people on 'fractional contracts' ie we paid them (hours worked times annual rate)/(normal weekly hours). We even went down the route of some 'full-time' employees doing 4x10hr days rather than 5x7.5hrs (and yes there was a 'trade off' of flexibility, travel time and so on in that deal). The intent of the 'pro rata' holidays was to formally give them the same number of 'weeks off' as a full time employee. We paid everyone to take holidays for six weeks worth of his/her usual working time. So you are right; the effect is that you don't have to turn up for work for a total of six weeks worth of your usual hours - whether the 'working week' is one hour or full-time.

 

I agree that the key result of this ruling seems to be that everyone involved will need to work/liase more professionally and dispassioantely; and probably write it all down for the avoidance of doubt. Whilst there's lots of upsides for organists in this, it does also mean that organists will have to accept they work under the direction of their 'boss' and approach things accordingly.

 

In my old profession (IT) it was widely held that one in thee bosses was OK, one in three was good, and one in three needed to be avoided at all costs. My experince so far suggests that the C of E scores about the same!

 

MGP

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In my old profession (IT) it was widely held that one in thee bosses was OK, one in three was good, and one in three needed to be avoided at all costs. My experince so far suggests that the C of E scores about the same!

Slightly OT but do you think the same ratio applies to church organists?... :)

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