Actors’ Equity Association announced June 13 that it had reached a tentative new five-year deal with the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), which will provide salary increases of 16 percent to 81.7 percent over the life of the contract.
The last contract expired on February 13, and AEA and LORT representatives have been in negotiations since then.
While LORT Theatres stretch across the country—including The Old Globe in San Diego, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Guthrie, The Goodman, Dallas Theatre Center, and Sarasota’s Asolo Rep—the new contract also affects three non-profit theatres operating on Broadway, including Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Roundabout Theatre Company.
In addition to actors, the new agreement provides benefits for stage managers, who will now earn increased pay during tech week. Dance and fight captains also made incremental gains in the new deal.
AEA states, “Preventive physical therapy will be required on shows longer than eight weeks that involve significant choreography. And the agreement will add $1.7 million in employer contributions to the Equity Health Fund.”
“This was an incredibly difficult negotiation for Equity, but in the end, we have a contract that will deliver immediate wage increases to Equity Members and create more work opportunities for Equity principal actors, members of the chorus and stage managers over the contract,” said Mary McColl, lead negotiator and executive director of Actors’ Equity, in a statement. “We have been making steady improvements in all our agreements over the past bargaining cycles but we have made the broadest and deepest achievements yet in this contract. This contract may have taken months of work, but it will make a difference for Equity members on day one.”
Jeff Williams, chair of Equity’s LORT negotiating committee, added, “I’m thrilled to be able to report this is the strongest LORT contract we negotiated in more than a decade. We were determined as a team to come out of the negotiations, not just with the best deal possible, but a contract that works for all of our different members working in theaters all across the country. I wholeheartedly encourage our Members to support this historic contract so we can continue to do our work for audiences around the country.”