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    Posted July 26, 2011

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New CAT Contract Features Increases in Salaries, Health

The new three-year Chicago Area Theatres (CAT) contract approved by the Central Regional Board on July 11, 2011 features increases in salaries each year in all Tiers, increases in health each year on most Tiers and significant increases in other areas as well.

The increase in weekly minimum salaries in all Tiers is 3% each year; overtime rates also increase by 3% each year in all Tiers; in commercial productions, the increment for Term Contracts and Six-Month Chorus Riders increases from no less than $50 to no less than $100 per week; in commercial musicals, the Dance Captain increment goes up from 10% to 15%; there is an increase in travel reimbursement to/from station/airport from $30 to $50; the meal allowance rises from $8 to $10 and there is an increase in payment for costume calls prior to the start of rehearsals from $10 to $20 per hour.

There have been achievements in safe and sanitary provisions, as well. One significant improvement is that the incline playing surface (the rake) is limited to inch per foot. Additionally, the trigger for the assistance of a qualified instructor or therapist on an inclined surface was lowered from inch to inch per foot. Improvements were also achieved in the area of branding. The Equity logo will now appear in all programs and the Equity logo and bio will appear on the Producers' websites whenever possible.

"We're very pleased with the results of what was a very cordial negotiation," says Central Regional Director Kathryn V. Lamkey, who was the Union's Chief Negotiator. "Our primary goal was to achieve significant pay increases and we did just that. The Team did a great job."

Central Regional Vice President Dev Kennedy chaired the Negotiating Team, which also included Malcolm Ewen, David Girolmo, Richard Shavzin, Dina DiConstanzo, Larry Neumann, Ross Lehman, and Doug MacKechnie, and for the staff, Senior Business Rep Christine A. Provost and Business Reps Ann Gordon, Luther Goins, Ryan Hastings and Cynthia Hanks. There was consultation with Madeleine Fallon and Executive Director Mary McColl and assistance from Contract Associate Jessica Mitolo.

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