Equity Rank and File Approve New Production Contract

News   Equity Rank and File Approve New Production Contract Actors' Equity members have approved the new, hard-won Production Contract.

According to the union, the agreement, which covers Broadway and touring productions, was ratified by more than 96 percent of union membership. In raw numbers, 2,332 were yes votes and 89 were no votes.

Actors' Equity's governing council voted July 22 to recommend the approval of the new four-year Production Contract.

The agreement was hammered out on July 12 after months of tumultuous negotiating.

The highlights of the agreement, as expressed in a prepared statement, are as follows:

* Wages - The new contract provides a wage increase of three percent each year of 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.

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