Discussion about wages in the ballet

Wages at Theater Basel

Theatre Basel is continuously working on improving the salaries of its artistic staff (dancers, actors and singers) and wages in general within the scope of its possibilities. In the ballet, a process for the development of salaries was initiated three years ago with the change of the artistic director. Since then, adjustments have been made on an ongoing basis.

Above the minimum wage

The minimum wage for all artistic employees at Theater Basel is above the Swiss minimum wage customary in the industry. From the 23/24 season onwards, the minimum wage will be CHF 4,300, putting Theater Basel in third place in a comparison with the theatres organised in the Schweizerischer Bühnenverband (SBV).
In terms of reference values, Theater Basel is compared with other three-part theatres such as Bühnen Bern, Luzerner Theater or Theater St. Gallen.

Ballet fees

The minimum fee for dancers at Theater Basel was increased to CHF 4,500 as of August 2022.
Following discussions with representatives of the ballet company, further fee increases have been budgeted for the 23/24 and 24/25 seasons. According to the budget, the average fee in the summer of 2024 will be just under CHF 4,900, plus the 13th month's salary - excluding dancers in training and internships. The dancers are aware of these adjustments.

Differentiated fees

For the 25/26 season, a model for a differentiated salary development in ballet is being developed.
The ballet company at Theater Basel has no hierarchy within itself. As a result, there has so far been little differentiation between the fees. We are currently evaluating models in order to achieve a differentiated wage development with a targeted adjustment of the wage system.

The role of Unia

Theater Basel is a member of the Schweizerischer Bühnenverband and thus in constant exchange with the stages of Switzerland when it comes to wages. For the GAV Kunst, the association SzeneSchweiz is the negotiating partner for Theater Basel. Unia is not a contracting party to the GAV Kunst and is therefore - as far as we are currently aware - not legitimised to act as a negotiating partner.

The team at Theater Basel

It is important to the theatre management and the Board of Directors that all employees of Theater Basel are valued and adequately remunerated. With 428 permanent employees, 119 temporary staff and more than 350 freelance guest artists, this process is complex - especially since the theatre does not operate on a profit-oriented basis and personnel costs account for well over 80% of total expenditure.

The theatre management
(Basel, 29.05.2023)

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