The Scottish Federation of Organists




Recommended Salary Scales for Organists
1 January 2019 - 31 December 2020

After careful consideration the SFO Committee has agreed that the 2017-18 Organists’ Recommended Salary Scales should be increased by 3% from 1 January 2020. This is less than the average increase in the Retail Price Index of 3½% over the two years of the current scales and shows our willingness to assist churches by limiting the recommended increase.

The new scales have been in the hands of The Church of Scotland Mission and Discipleship Council since mid-September for endorsement.  The expected endorsement is now said to be coming in mid-November.

It is recommended that the new scales be followed from 1 January 2019.  It is intended that these scales shall remain in force until 31 December 2020, at which time they will be reviewed.

The 2019-20 scales are shown below with the 2017-18 scales shown in brackets for reference.

a) Churches without choirs
Salary £1,700 - £2,650 Additional Service/Deputy Fee £65 (Salary £1,640- £2,550 Deputy Fee £61.50)

b) Churches with choirs making an occasional individual contribution to worship
Salary £2,650 - £4,150 Additional Service/Deputy Fee £65 - £80 (Salary £2,550 - £4,050 Deputy Fee £61.50 - £77)

c) Churches with choirs making a substantial individual contribution to worship
Salary £4,150 - £5,550 Additional Service/Deputy Fee £80 - £105 (Salary £4,050 - £5,400 Deputy Fee £77 - £102.50)

d) Churches with complete and competent choirs singing full choral services
Salary £5,550 - £8,300 Additional Service/Deputy Fee £105 - £115 (Salary £5,400 - £8,075 Deputy Fee £102.50 - £112.75)

e) Churches employing a full or part time professional director of music with extensive responsibilities are recommended to consider salary scales higher than scale d)
Salary £8,300? Additional Service/Deputy Fee £115? (Salary £8,075? Deputy Fee £112.75?)

Notes:

1. Different services contain different emphases but all are important and therefore receive equal treatment.  It is recommended that Deputy Fees, Weddings and Funerals are all paid at the Deputy Fee rate.

2. Recording fees remain unchanged:
The fee + 50% for sound recording
The fee + 100% for video recording

3. These scales are not mandatory.  They provide guidelines for churches throughout Scotland.  These scales are endorsed by the Mission and Discipleship Council of The Church of Scotland and it is hoped that they will also be adopted by the other denominations.

4. If exceptional situations arise, which are not covered by these scales - for example, the number and nature of services within the Anglican and Roman Liturgies, or within Church of Scotland linked charges - then dialogue and negotiation are recommended as ways towards mutual agreement.

5. These scales exist to provide a working framework and to maintain reasonable standards of remuneration.  If there are musicians who are prepared to accept alternative remuneration, or to offer their services on a voluntary basis, then that is a matter for individual decisions and outwith the scope of these recommendations.

6. Churches that do not wish to subscribe to these scales should not seek to engage organists who do expect these scales to be observed but it should also be noted that those who benefit from being paid the recommended scales should be competent to do so.

8.The current Church of Scotland style of Contract for Organists is available from the Church of Scotland Legal Department at 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YH (0131 225 5722) of from the C of S website.  This is not mandatory and organists entering into a new position should check the proposed contract carefully before agreeing to it.

Comments and guidance are always welcome and should be addressed to Donald Maclagan, Chairman of the Salaries Committee by emailing donaldmaclagan@scotsorgan.org.uk or by mail to 1 Victoria Court, 72 High Street, Kingussie, Highland, PH21 1HZ, or by telephone 01540 662431.

Please note, however, that queries regarding individual contracts and/or tax matters should be addressed to your own solicitor or other professional adviser

Donald T Maclagan CertHE(SMS) DipRSCM
Convener, SFO/CofS Salaries Committee
16th September 2018
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