Hot Topic: Highlights of Equity/League Agreement

Posted by: Staffon 2004/7/14 12:40:09 2269 reads Actors' Equity and The League of American Theatres and Producers have released further details of their tentative four year Production Contract. The Equity Council will be in charge of reviewing the agreement and making a recommendation. The contract will then be sent to the Equity ratification group for vote. The tentative agreement covers the major issues discussed at the bargaining table over the course of the negotiations including wages and benefits, touring, actor safety and actor participation in show marketing and promotion. The highlights of the agreement are as follows...

Highlights of Agreement:

Wages - The new contract provides an annual wage increase of three percent over the four-year contract.

Benefits - Producers have agreed to meaningful increases in health fund contributions that seek to stabilize the fund for the foreseeable future.

Experimental Touring Program - A new, tiered salary system provides an innovative approach to meet the economic needs of the road. The appropriate tier is utilized based on a set of criteria, which includes guarantees from presenters to producers, size of company and other variables. The agreement also includes a provision that provides additional compensation for Equity members for successful engagements before a show recoups, and still more compensation once a show is profitable.

Promotions - The parties have agreed to a mutually beneficial approach to encourage the use of advertising and marketing materials featuring actors across all mediums, providing more flexibility for producers in show marketing.

Safety - The parties have agreed to jointly develop a safety protocol that will assist producers, directors, designers and actors in the development and staging process to try to reduce the risk of injury to performers.

Patrick Quinn, President of Actor's Equity had this to say, "“These negotiations represent a benchmark for professional American theater. This contract is one that allows theater across the country to flourish and maintain the high standards that audiences expect from Equity touring productions, which include the finest theater actors and stage managers on Broadway and throughout America.”

Jed Bernstein, President of the League, also commented, "This contract puts Broadway on a strong and steady footing in New York and across the country. We are confident that Broadway shows produced by League Members and with Equity actors can now be more competitive in the touring market. Most importantly, we are delighted that Broadway has remained vibrant during this difficult contract negotiation and that theatre-goers across the country can look forward to a great season to come.”