The Musicians’ Union (MU), the leading organisation for over 32,000 professional musicians in the UK, has confirmed the appointment of Naomi Pohl to the most senior role in the organisation. Pohl is the first woman to hold the post in the MU’s 129-year history.
The electoral process consisted of a series of meetings in all six of the Union’s democratic Regions and a comprehensive postal ballot of all members.
Naomi Pohl brings extensive knowledge and experience to the role, having worked full-time for the MU since 2009 including three years as Deputy General Secretary. Speaking after the announcement, she said, ‘It means a great deal that musicians across genres and disciplines have put their faith in me and I want nothing more than to deliver for them all. To musicians who have been under-represented by the Union in the past and saw this election as an opportunity for positive change, I am here to listen and make sure your voices are heard.
‘After the toughest imaginable two years for musicians, there is plenty of work to do. We can improve pay for our employed and freelance members post-pandemic, tackle the impact of Brexit and fix streaming. We will also ensure we meet the objectives set out in the MU Equality Action Plan, in the UK Music Diversity Ten Point Plan, and we will continue our vital work to eliminate discrimination and harassment from the industry. In order to secure the future of the profession, we will also launch a new music education campaign and move arts funding back up the Union’s lobbying agenda during my term. I know these are issues that really matter to musicians.’
Alex Gascoine of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra said, ‘As Chair of the Executive Committee of the MU, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Naomi Pohl on becoming the first female General Secretary of the MU.
‘Musicians face enormous challenges as we emerge from the pandemic. Led by Naomi Pohl and supported by the Executive Committee, the Union will continue to focus on supporting its members, upholding all our collective agreements and ensuring musicians work in a safe and protected environment.’