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Naomi Pohl elected MU general secretary

Announced on International Women’s Day, Pohl has become the first woman appointed to the Musicians' Union's most senior role

By IQ on 08 Mar 2022

Naomi Pohl


On International Women’s Day, the UK’s Musicians’ Union (MU) has confirmed that Naomi Pohl has been elected as the first female general secretary in its history.

Pohl has worked full-time for the MU – the leading organisation for musicians in the UK – since 2009, spending the past three years as deputy general secretary. Previously, she served as the Union’s national organiser for recording and broadcasting.

Pohl, who succeeds Horace Trubridge in the role, will be responsible for the administration of the MU’s affairs nationwide in partnership with the MU’s elected executive committee.

“I am delighted and humbled to have been elected to the role of MU general secretary,” she says. “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.

“Thank you to all members who engaged with the election process, took the time to vote and who reached out to me directly with feedback about the Union. I also want to acknowledge our fantastic activists, staff and officials; I couldn’t hope to work with a more dedicated and passionate team of people.

“To all those who didn’t vote for me, I hear that you want change. The Union is here for every musician, and I hope it can be a unifying force as we take on many challenges collectively – please reach out.”

After the toughest imaginable two years for musicians, there is plenty of work to do”

Prior to the MU, Pohl was assistant general secretary at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

“After the toughest imaginable two years for musicians, there is plenty of work to do,” she adds. “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.”

The general secretary position is the most senior post in the organisation, which was founded in 1893 and consists of more than 32,000 members. 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.

Trubridge, who served in the role from 2017-2022, adds: ‘It’s been an honour and a privilege to lead the Union for the last five years, ably assisted by Naomi and assistant general secretary Phil Kear.

“I have had the pleasure of promoting Naomi up through the ranks and I am delighted to hear that she has won the election to become the MU’s very first female general secretary.”

 


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