A bold new plan would guarantee musicians at least $250 per gig as long as the event is funded by public money.
NSW Labor MP John Graham said musicians deserved to be paid for their work like everyone else.
“When public funding goes into an event, the public expect that the musicians are paid a reasonable wage. That is not always true,” he said.
“Musicians are some of the state’s lowest paid workers.”
Mr Graham gave notice in state parliament’s upper house on Tuesday that the opposition would be calling for the government to pay musicians working public gigs at least $250 each.
The government will have to decide whether or not they agree at a vote later this week.
Mr Graham, the opposition spokesman for music and the night time economy, invited musicians and union members to parliament to discuss the proposal.
The director of musicians at the union Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said the minimum wage, if adopted, would bring NSW into line with South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.
“When anyone is employed with public money, they need to be paid an industry minimum,” Paul Davies said.
Mr Davies said the money would be paid at a flat rate and that gigs normally take up about three hours of a musician’s time.
But he said there is lots more work that goes into a performance other than being on stage.
“There’s the travel to the gig, the set-up, the soundcheck and finishing up at the end,” he said.
“So it’s a rounded figure that accommodates all those other things.”