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    Posted February 1, 2008

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New CORST Agreement

New CORST Agreement Includes Significant Health Rate Increases; Phase Out of Actor-Paid Housing

The new five-year agreement with CORST (Council of Resident Stock Theatres) that was approved by Council on December 18, 2007, features significant increases in health rates as well as "three historic philosophical changes," reports Rick Berg, Senior Business Representative and Chief Negotiator for the agreement.

"After decades of resistance, CORST has agreed to include a separate Chorus rule, to establish a separate minimum salary for Assistant Stage Managers, and, most significantly, to phase out entirely over five years, the long-held practice of charging Actors for housing. This last achievement," he said, "in conjunction with the negotiated annual increases to minimum salaries, will result in actual increases, when the deduction for housing is factored in, of 7.5% in the first year, and in excess of 4% in each subsequent year." Under the previous contract, which expires on February 24, 2008, CORST producers could deduct 15% of an Actor's contractual salary to pay for housing. The allowable percentage will now fall to 10% in the first year of the new pact, and then decrease by 2.5% more each year until it is eliminated entirely in the final year.

The Equity negotiating team included Ruth E. Kramer, Chair; Tom Joyce, First Vice Chair; Irma Rogers, Second Vice Chair; Bill Bateman, Jeffrey Bateman, Dana Ivey, Jeanne Lehman, Tony Romero and Michael Weber. Staff included, along with Mr. Berg, Business Representatives Russell Lehrer and Nancy Fattorini.

Theatres operating under the CORST agreement are Maine State Music Theatre, Brunswick, ME; Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA: Flat Rock Playhouse, Flat Rock, NC: Mountain Playhouse, Jennerstown, PA; Peninsula Players, Fish Creek WI; Totem Pole Playhouse, Fayetteville, PA; Barnstormers, Tamworth, NY; Peterborough Players, Peterborough, NH; St. Michael's Playhouse, Colchester, VT; Barn Theatre, Augusta, MI and Old Log Theatre, Excelsior, MN.

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