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March 18, 2004

Actors’ Equity and the University Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) Sign Three-Year Pact With 24 University-Affiliated Theatres

32% to 46% Rise In Health Contributions Achieved

Actor’s Equity and the University Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) have signed a three-year pact, which was approved at the Council meeting on March 16, 2004. The new agreement is retroactive to March 1 and will expire on February 28, 2007.

“Equity achieved a remarkable, and absolutely essential, increase in health contributions in the U/RTA contract,” said Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, noting that the health rates will rise between 32% and 46%. “Our negotiators made it clear that this was a top priority, given rising health care costs and the state of our health fund.”

Equity Western Regional Vice President Doug Carfrae chaired the Negotiating Team; Equity Senior Business Representative Zalina Hoosein (Eastern Region) was Chief Negotiator. Negotiations took place in January in and February in New York City. “Overall, Equity achieved a fair contract, with a significant money package for Actors and Stage Managers, and other improvements and increments for Dance Captains, Stage Managers and understudies,” added Hoosein.

32% to 46 % increase in Health Contributions and Higher Salaries

Health Rates - Equity achieved a compounded cumulative increase of 32.08% in Tier 1 and Tier 2 theatres, 41.51% in Tier 3 theatres, and 46.23% in Tier 4 theatres from the old rate of $106 per week. This means that the rates will reach between $140 and $155 per week (depending upon the theatre’s tier) by 2006.

Salaries, - Equity achieved a compounded, cumulative increase in salaries between 6.76% and 8.17% for Actors and Stage Managers. The new salary rates are:

Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4
Stage manager
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4

Other Highlights

Dance Captain – a Dance Captain will now be required in all musicals with choreography or musical staging and in dramatic productions as required. Payment has been increased to 12% of the Actor minimum salary. Equity and U/RTA clarified that the Dance Captain’s rehearsal and performance hours are subject to the same limitations applicable to any other Actor. Dance Captains will also be identified as such in the program’s cast page.

Stage Managers – Stage Managers and ASM’s will now receive a minimum additional payment of 1/6th of contractual salary during tech week.

Billing/Changes in Cast – All billing and cast change provisions (announcement or insert) will be applicable to chorus and stage managers as well as principals.

Clothing-Make-Up – Kneepads, elbow pads and protective clothing, when required, shall be new when issued to the Actor.

Fight Captain – A Fight Captain is now required whenever there is staged fighting and the Fight Director/Fight Choreographer is not present for the entire run.

Set Moves – A new provision specifies when an Actor can move set, scenery or prop pieces.

Televising/Recording/Broadcasting/Filming – A Dance Captain, or any other Actor, shall now be paid the SAG/AFTRA off Camera Principal rate for doing any work, other than performing, during the making of a commercial. This previously applied only to the Stage Manager.

Understudies – An Understudy will receive a minimum payment of 1/8th of contractual salary every time he/she substitutes for a Principal Actor in an understudied role (previously, the understudy was required to be paid only when the Actor he was substituting for had exhausted his sick pay).

Equity’s Negotiating Team included Hoosein (Chief Negotiator), Carfrae (Chair), Brenda Thomas (2nd Vice Chair), Tom Joyce, Irma Rogers, Andrea McCullough, and Maureen Sadusk. Participating Equity staff members included Hoosein, and Business Representatives Ed Barnes, Luther Goins, Russell Lehrer, Marty McDonough, and Beverly Sloan. U/RTA’s team was headed by Executive Director Scott Steele.

The U/RTA theatres include:

Eastern Region Florida Atlantic University, Heritage Repertory, Kent State-Porthouse Theatre, Penn Center Stage, Syracuse University, Cornell University, Georgia Rep Theatre, Chautauqua, Connecticut Repertory, Duke University, Shenandoah Shakespeare

Central Region Iowa Summer Rep, University of Michigan, Illinois Shakespeare, Nebraska Rep, Nebraska Shakespeare, Wichita Music Theatre, Swine Palace, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

Western Region Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, University of Montana, California Institute of the Arts, Saint Edward’s University, Old Lyric Repertory Theatre

“We look forward to a ongoing positive relationship with U/RTA,” said Hoosein. “I would also like to extend my gratitude to the negotiating team for their time, energy and support, as well as to my staff members.”

March 18, 2004

Equity's Negotiating Team: (L-R back row) Luther Goins, Irma Rogers, Russell Lehrer, Tom Joyce, Ed Barnes, Andrea McCullough, Katie LaGreca (L-R front row) Brenda Thomas, Equity Western Regional VP Doug Carfrae, Chief Negotiator Zalina Hoosein, Marty McDonough

Equity's Negotiating Team and representatives from U/RTA conclude negotiations:
Back Row: Equity's Russell Lehrer (in front of Founding President Francis Wilson), Marty McDonough, Equity VP Doug Carfrae, Katie LaGreca Brenda Thomas, Ed Barnes, Chief Negotiator Zalina Hoosein, Irma Rogers, Luther Goins Front Row: U/RTA's Matt Gellar, Martin Beekman, Scott L. Steele, Gina G. Cesari, Frank Mack

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