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August 29, 2003

WCLO Theatres Ratify New Three-Year Pact

Equity and the Western Civic Light Opera Association have agreed to a new three-year contract, effective September 8, 2003 through September 4, 2006.

Under the new agreement, Actors' salaries go from $800 weekly to $825 immediately; to $850 on September 6, 2004, and $875 on September 5, 2005, representing a 9% increase over the life of the contract. Stage Manager minimums go from $1,050 weekly, to $1,085 on September 1, 2003; $1,120 on September 6, 2004 and $1,155 on September 5, 2005. Assistant Stage Manager and ASM/Actor minimums increase by a similar percentage.

Health payments go from $120 to $140 per week in the third year of the agreement. In addition, a voluntary 401K contribution provision was achieved.

Among other financial gains are increases in swing increments, costume rental fees and transportation reimbursement plus substantial improvements for Dance Captains. Western Business Representative Don Hill reports that increments will now be calculated at 16% of the prevailing minimum salary, increasing from the current $125. Dance Captains also will receive payment for any work done in conjunction with television or radio commercials and will receive billing on the cast page.

New Chorus Audition and Equal Employment Opportunity language also was negotiated.

The WCLO agreement is used by Theatre Under The Stars (Houston), the Fifth Avenue Musical Theatre (Seattle), the American Musical Theatre (San Jose) and the California Musical Theatre (Sacramento), generating 3,745 work weeks in the 2001-2002 season. Earnings under the contract topped $3 million, according to the most recent Equity Annual Report.

In addition to the signatory theatres, there are also a number of theatre companies who use a Letter of Agreement (LOA) referenced to the WCLO Agreement, including REPRISE!, The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities, Musical Theatre West, The Fullerton Civic Light Opera and Broadway Texas. These theatres also generate substantial work weeks for members.

Western Regional Director John Holly was Equity's Chief Negotiator, assisted by Don Hill, Michael Ankney and Sam Ambler. Councillor Vernon Willet was Chair of the Negotiating Team.

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