Symf was founded in 1984. It is an non governmental organisation free from ties to political parties. In order to be a member of Symf you must have a Swedish or international music degree or well documented professional experience.
Symf is your colleagues in the orchestra, those you share a desk with in your section, those you sing with in your choir and those you go on tour with in Länsmusiken. Symf is both your experienced colleague as well as the freelance musicians who had their first paid job last week. Symf is a professional union driven by professional musicians to develop and improve the working conditions of musicians.
All the members of Symf’s board are professional musicians. They are employed in orchestras, professional choirs or in Länsmusiken or are freelancing in these or other musical contexts. All improvements in working environments, working hours and level of wages are a result of the work of your colleagues within the unions. They help you and ensure that you have fair and just working conditions.
In our place of work, the employer and employee discuss all important questions. To gain insight and to have the possibility of influencing decisions is fundamental to all union activities. As a member of Symf you too can be a part of this. A strong
and active union is the key to a good working environment.
In our place of work there are several agreements that regulate working hours, wages, holiday allowance, joint decision making and many other things. The agreements are all the fruit of the work put In by the local Symf section for your benefit and for the benefit of your colleagues.
Symf also negotiates a nationwide collective agreement. This regulates the annual raise in wages, insurance, copyright, pensions and other agreements so that we musicians may have conditions that are comparable to the rest of the labour market. Our collective agreement is the only thing that guarantees you the unique right to paid preparation time, the right to a salary supplement for your instrument and the right to participate in the recruitment of new colleagues.
On average a collective agreement gives an employee up to 80 000 SEK per year. The employer pays an increased contribution in the case of illness, contribution for parent leave, pension
benefits, fitness contribution and paid holiday amongst other things. In Symf’s agreement with the employee you also have the right to
• a salary supplement for your instrument
• paid individual practising time
• a warm-up week
When you need help we are here for you. A mere telephone call to Symf is often enough to give you the answers you might need to a certain question. You can always get legal advice when you need it and we can represent you if you should find yourself in a legal dispute with an employer.
In an ideal working environment without controversies, entirely free from conflicts and disputes, membership of Symf could seem unnecessary. However, the real world is not like this. Symf often works behind the scenes to ensure that its members’ needs are constantly met. Yet suddenly you can be faced with problems: a threat of dismissals, a conflict with the employer or an occupational injury. That is when you can get help. Fast and efficiently. Consider it an insurance that you hopefully will never have to use.
The freelance section is for those who do not have a permanent employment. It is Symf’s largest single section and on its board there are musicians from all over the country. The freelance world is tough for many musicians. The freelance section of Symf works to improve conditions for its members and helps with all questions that concern the vulnerable situation of freelance musicians.
Your experiences and opinions are equally important to us. We need them so that we can improve and adjust to the changing society around us. The more we are, the stronger we are. That strength is needed for us to defend and improve conditions for you and for all our members. When you join Symf you support all those that work in their free time to ensure a good professional life for you and your colleagues.
Legal advice on all questions concerning working conditions and agreements
Help with negotiations when needed
Access to member pages on www.symf.se
The magazine Symfoni which comes out four times a year
The possibility of advantageous instrument insurance
Advantageous insurances through your membership
Member loan and Property loan in several banks
Dual membership with the Teacher’s Union
Membership of SAMI, the Swedish Artists’ and Musicians’ Interest organisation
Other benefits through TCO
Symf follows Swedish cultural politics both nationally and locally. We read, comment on and reply to official reports. We cooperate with the other unions and interest organisations to influence politics and to make our voices heard. Our press releases and member magazine Symfoni are read with great interest by decision makers within our field.