The tentative agreement, "while providing flexibility and innovation for the industry," is negotiated for four years and expires in September 2015.
According to a statement, specific details about the collective bargaining agreement — which addresses terms and conditions of employment for stage actors and stage managers — are not being released, pending ratification. Equity indicated that "it calls for wage increases in each year of the contract, and, "important to both the Union and the League is the formation of a new Labor-Management committee whose purpose is to address work-related issues in real time, thus providing solutions to on-going issues that could include safety and other topics."
The terms of the new contract will be reviewed by Equity's National Council, the governing body of the Union, for recommendation. It will then be sent to those Equity members who have worked under Production Contract since 2004 and are eligible to vote. The results of that vote are expected in December. Once ratified, the contract will be retroactive to Sept. 25, 2011.
"This has been a focused effort on the part of the Union and The League to achieve a contract that is beneficial to both sides," Mary McColl, Equity's executive director, said. "What we achieved at the bargaining table recognizes issues important to both sides, correcting issues that have not been addressed for decades while also acknowledging the fast-changing world we now live in. This contract is a win for Equity members, League members and the theatregoing public."
Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, said in a statement, "The League joins with Equity in the belief that this is a new era of bargaining where all sides can win. We are pleased that both Producers and Equity members received worthwhile and important benefits in this agreement. As we are speeding into the 21st century, we must be able to move with the times. Hats off to the entire bargaining committee for their willingness to adapt and evolve in order to achieve mutually beneficial results that support a healthy Broadway for all." *
Founded in 1913, Actors' Equity Association represents more than 49,000 professional stage actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theater as an essential component of American society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and benefits for its members. Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. In 2012, Equity will begin a year-long celebration of its 100th Anniversary, culminating on May 29, 2013, when the Union was formed by a small but active group of members who sought to create a fair and equitable working environment for all actors. Visit www.actorsequity.org.
The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 200 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. Visit www.BroadwayLeague.com or www.ILoveNYTheater.com.