Thursday, 13 November 2008

How much should a conductor earn?

And what are reasonable terms and conditons?

On the Conductive Community Forum this morning I posted a reply to an enquiry of conductors’ salaries and on some aspects of their terms and conditions of service.

In doing so I drew the writer’s attention to an introductory article on employing conductors that I first wrote and published on the Internet getting on for some years ago now.

Since then times have changed, the world had moved on and I am very aware I that have long since relinquished involvement the practical world of job-creation. Is there not more recent information than this?

Recent developments in the European Union, for example, mean that conductors who also have a teaching qualification now have an automatic right to recognition as ‘a teacher’ in any member state (at least that is the general situation as I perceive it). How this will persist when conductors’ basic qualification becomes a BA, I do not know. Nor do I know the present specific double-taxation arrangements between countries (especially ones involving Hungary) but I do know that these do not permit employees to avoid tax at both ends of the arrangement!

Formal permissions to work in another country (work permits, green cards, visas etc) remain probably unchanged, despite regulatios on non-working stays easing up slightly in some places (such as the new three-months visa-free arrangement for Hungarians to visit the United States, that comes into force this coming Monday).

Employers (and conductors) must understand that this does not grant permission to work.

Does no one offer information?

What I could not do was to respond by directing the enquiry to some comprehensive and reliable account of the present conductor job market, both at its most general in with respect to very specific matters such as possible pay scales.

I do know from personal contacts that some conductors still earn over-the top salaries on the international market, with all sorts of extras. Conversely, in parts of Europe some employers still regard 24 Euros/hour (with no perks, benefits or other incentives) as a reasonable wage for a highly skilled, emotionally charged and physically demanding professional service carrying enormous human responsibility for human welfare.

The question is too important to be left to hearsay and pletyka. Do none of the various organisations in the sector direct resources to providing up-to-date advice on such a matter of the common good?

If not, are individuals able/willing to help, either here, through the Comments facility at the foot of this item, or through the Forum on which today’s specific question was raised?

Knowing the 'sensitivity' of questions around salaries and the experience (on both sides) of conductor-employer relations, I would point out that both comments on Conductive World and the postings on Conductive Community Forum can be made anonymously, using a pseudonym.

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