Syria/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector

As will be mentioned in Chapter 5 concerning laws regulating the cultural work, paragraph (5-1-7), workers in the cultural sector, namely, artists, administrators, and technicians are subject to the Unified Labor Law in Syria. They do not enjoy special legislations or laws, rather they are subject to the general law that comprises all sectors with the exception of some sectors which has their own regulations.

Based on that, wages of the workers at the official bodies concerned with the cultural affairs are specified based on the Unified Labor Law. That is to say, these wages are the same of those in any other work field (125 Dollars per month on average), but artists: actors, decoration designers, customs designers, directors, and dramaturges, etc... are granted compensations on the form of” rewards” that are not subject to unified system and criteria, rather they are specified arbitrarily based on personal appreciation.

During the last years, the issue of the wages of artists has been subject to long and extensive discussions and debates at MOC but these discussions have not produced tangible results.

The TV drama production has affected wages of artists. Due to the success of the TV drama, the success achieved by the Syrian actors who have become stars across the Arab world, and as a result of the power the private sector enjoys in this field, the disparity in terms of wages between the TV actors and the other artists has pushed the actors, for example, to take part in the TV production and also pushed the theater actors to ask for, though individually, increase in the wages.

Chapter published: 06-05-2016