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October 5, 2004

ACTORS’ EQUITY SET TO BEGIN COST NEGOTIATIONS - MONDAY OCTOBER 11

CURRENT AGREEMENT EXPIRES DECEMBER 26, 2004

Actors' Equity Association, the union for professional stage actors and stage managers, is set to begin negotiations with the Council of Stock Theatres (COST) on Monday, October 11, 2004 at Equity’s national headquarters in New York City. COST member theaters participating in the negotiations will be the Olney Theatre (Olney, MD), North Shore Music Theatre (Beverly, MA) and the Paper Mill Playhouse (Millburn, NJ)

Key negotiation proposals will include wage increases, health insurance and working conditions. According to Equity’s latest employment statistics, the COST contract generated almost 7,000 workweeks during the 2003-2004 season; 83.2% in the Eastern Region and 16.8% in the Western Region.

Equity’s Chief Negotiator will be Senior Business Representative Rick Berg. The Chair of the Negotiating Team will be Equity Councilor Thomas J. Miller. The Negotiating Team consists of Councillors and members-at-large from the Eastern and Western Regions, representing principals, chorus and stage managers. Business Representative Russell Lehrer will also be part of the Equity team. Chief Negotiator for the theaters will be North Shore’s John Kimbell, President of COST.

“This is an important contract for our members,” said Senior Business Rep Berg. “The COST theaters are a vital part of the professional theater community and provide employment opportunities for a great many Equity members. We believe the talks will be productive and a fair and equitable contract will be achieved.”

Actors Equity Association, founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.





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