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    Posted May 7, 2007

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Town Hall Meeting Well Attended

A Town Hall meeting in the Chicago office on May 12, 2007 drew a good crowd, and discussion covered a wide range of subjects. Central Regional Vice President Dev Kennedy had received some letters from members in the Region voicing concerns about issues such as local salary compression (the distance between minimum salaries and negotiated salaries) and individual employment contract negotiations and a Town Hall meeting, similar to one well received in Los Angeles, "seemed like the perfect vehicle to address the members' concerns," Mr. Kennedy said.

Staff, led by Central Regional Director Kathryn Lamkey, answered questions in a "press conference" type forum, moderated by Mr. Kennedy. A number of Councillors and Board members were present to help in explaining some of the finer points about the recent health insurance premium payment, the closing of the Chicago P&H office, Equity's stand on political issues, including why and what Equity does and doesn't support, pension/health contribution distribution ratios and the down the road Production, LORT and CAT Contract negotiations and how contract proposals are formulated. "Upcoming negotiations are not going to be business as usual," Mr. Kennedy says.

"The meeting was well received and some specific measures resulted," reports Mr. Kennedy. A contract negotiating seminar will be held on June 11, 2007 (check the website: or call the Chicago office, 312-641-0393 for information) to assist members with techniques for negotiating their own contracts and to alert them to terms and conditions that often appear in riders and how they can address them.

Mr. Kennedy attributes the success of this meeting "to the extra efforts of a few members-at-large, and as usual, the terrific staff of the Central Region." The Board has expressed hope that the usual membership meetings can begin to look more like this meeting and Mr. Kennedy will be meeting with several Councillors and Board members to address this issue. He notes that "the tenor of this Town Hall meeting was more like a Liaison meeting than a membership or Board meeting" and he thanked all the members who participated.

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