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December 4, 2003

Boston Equity Members Meet

The Annual Meeting of the Boston area Equity membership took place Monday, October 27, 2003. Equity's Eastern Regional Director Carol Waaser was on hand to discuss national issues such as non-union tours and the loss of workweeks in key contract areas. Local contract issues were discussed as well, including positive feedback regarding the required NEAT (New England Area Theatre) auditions that were added to that contract in last year's negotiations.

Other concerns included the changes to the Health Plan, and the new eligibility requirements. Ms. Waaser provided an update on the status of the COBRA Bill in New York State, which will subsidize up to 50% of COBRA costs for those who qualify. Equity will continue to work in other areas to promote this kind of legislation.

In other New England news, Boston AEA members united to leaflet the non-union tour of MISS SAIGON playing at the Wang Center in Boston's Theater District in September. Equity's National Director, Organizing, Flora Stamatiades and Internal Organizer John V. Fahey organized the leafleting, and a talented group of Equity actors from New York gave a highly entertaining performance of THE JOBLESS CHRONICLES just steps away from the MISS SAIGON marquee at the Wang Center. Other unions, including local Boston musicians and stagehands, participated in the protests in various ways.

Increased efforts will be made soon to disseminate local Equity casting news via e-mail as well as the existing Boston hotline.

James Bodge (Liaison Chair), Bill Mootos, and Sheila Stasack were all re-selected by acclamation to the Liaison Committee for three-year terms. Ellen Colton serves as Vice Chair; Peter E. Haydu is Treasurer; and Michel G. Dell'Orto is Secretary.

There are the terms of the current New England Area Liaison Committee as of November 23, 2003 are:
Term expiring 2004: Colton, Dell'Orto, Goldfarb, Sorbello, Reiff
Term expiring 2005: Haydu, Miller, Saoud, Steinbach
Term expiring 2006: Bodge, Stasack, Mootos

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