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January 14, 2003

Actors' Equity, CORST (Council of Resident Stock Theatres) Reach Tentative Agreement - 5 Year Pact Approved for 11 Stock Theatres
Equity's CORST Negotiating Team 2003

Health Rates Boost by 36% - "Other Significant Improvements" says Equity's Alan Eisenberg

Actors' Equity and the Council of Resident Stock Theatres (CORST) have reached a tentative agreement for a new five-year contract, following a week of "intensive" negotiations. The deal was announced during Equity's regional membership meeting on Friday, January 10th, by Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg.

The CORST contract governs employment for actors and stage managers at 11 stock theatres, including: Barn Theatre, Augusta, MI, Barnstormers, Tamworth, NH, Flat Rock Playhouse, Flat Rock, NC, Maine State Music Theatre, Brunswick, ME, Mountain Playhouse, Jennerstown, PA, Old Log Theatre, Excelsior, MN, Peninsula Players, Fish Creek, WI, Peterborough Players, Peterborough, NH, St. Michael's Playhouse, Colchester, VT, Totem Pole Playhouse, Fayetteville, PA, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Willamstown, MA

Equity Senior Business Representative Rick Berg was Chief Negotiator for Equity, with support from Equity staff members Cathy Bruce, and Marty McDonough. The Negotiating Team consisted of 15 Councillors, Board members and members-at-large, representing principal, chorus and stage managers. (Note: the Western Region was not represented, because there are no CORST theatres in the west). Equity Councillor Lynn Archer was Chair of the Negotiating Team.

According to Berg, many improvements were achieved, including a 36% increase in health rates; free-standing Assistant Stage Managers will be required in many situations (for the first time under this contract)and increases in required pre-production days; daily laundering of skin parts; and increases in salaries, performance overtime rate; and Dance Captain, Fight Captain and Chorus increments. CORST also agreed to follow the "smoke and haze" guidelines as stipulated in the ENVIRON study, and agreed to agreed to a reduction in the maximum permitted rake of a stage to to the foot (from 1 per foot). The CORST contract generated 2500 work weeks in 2001-2002, with $1.6 million dollars in earnings.

The proposed contract will be presented to Council at its meeting in February. Eisenberg and Berg thanked the negotiating team and staff members for their "hard work" given the challenging economic climate."

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