Actors’ equity members approve new three-year contract for theatrical productions, sit down – The Hollywood Reporter
Actors’ Equity members voted to approve a new three-year collective bargaining agreement for Broadway performances and drama productions.
The union has listed accomplishments on the contract as including an increase in the minimum wage each year on the three-year agreement, a higher paid sick leave allowance, a reduction in weekly rehearsal hours after the show opens, and one more personal day off for everyone, as well as two fewer than 10 of the 12 rehearsals (one rehearsal took place the week before opening, during which actors and stage managers were scheduled to do 10-hour work and two-hour breaks in a day).
However, management acknowledged that the contract was not exactly what union members wanted.
“Broadway Federation is the largest employer group for Equity members, and our first settlement after the pandemic shutdown and subsequent reopening was an important step,” said. Equity CEO Al Vincent, Jr., is the lead negotiator. “This has not been an easy negotiation, and in more than 21 sessions, people on both sides have had to make tough choices. I am proud of the work the Equity team did to secure a contract that makes significant strides on some of the issues that have been on our agenda for decades. And this agreement also lays an important foundation that we will build in the upcoming negotiations.”
“We entered this negotiation with an ambitious package that reflects the priorities of the actors and stage managers working on the contract,” said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors Equity Association. this. “While we certainly didn’t get it all, we made progress: fewer December 10 days, fewer hours of rehearsals after opening, significant improvements in EDI, the entire work Equity company gets paid sick leave, more pre-production stage managers, some choruses of increases, and our highest overall pay rise in decades.
“We will need to continue to build on this work. (For example, although we hit the limit for the first time on swing split tracks, five is still too many.) I hope our members will continue to participate, especially especially if they are asked to do anything that makes them feel unsafe. We are currently preparing to negotiate for both Touring and LORT, which have significant workers overlap with Manufacturing. The voices of the actors mobilized and the stage manager clearly made this deal better than the others. That same activism and solidarity will also be crucial to these upcoming negotiations,” continued Shindle.
Actors’ Equity and the Broadway League have been negotiating the contract since September. The new agreement will be in effect until September 28, 2025.
The decision was made after actors and stage managers have publicly expressed concerns about the work-life balance in the industry, as well as the need for more students and substitutes for the shows. Broadway shows and more support for those who have done this work.
During the voting period, many actors expressed their displeasure with the agreement on social media and said they planned to vote against it. The concerns raised include the addition of a new
the “short-term actor” provision, which allows hiring an actor for a performance of less than a week, unlike the current location of a holiday gig, as well as provisions that still allow a the show had five parts, as Shindle alluded to.
This came after Actors’ Equity held a rally in Times Square, in which members campaigned for more coverage on Broadway shows, about the number of understudies and higher compensation for those students and change, as well as more paid sick leave. The members also spoke out about better scheduling, including reducing contiguous performances on holidays and limiting them to 10 out of 12 technical rehearsals.