Actors’ Equity Association Files with the NLRB on Behalf of Broadway Production Assistants

New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced that it has filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for recognition as the bargaining representative of the production assistants (PAs) on Broadway and sit-down productions produced by members of The Broadway League. The NLRB will determine the schedule to hold the unionization election. 

Equity first announced the unionization campaign on September 22, in hopes that The Broadway League would offer these workers voluntary recognition. Absent that, the union is confident that these workers will overwhelmingly vote to unionize.

“We had high hopes for a swift and collaborative process with The Broadway League, and are disappointed to hear they've chosen the more contentious path,” said Actors’ Equity Association 3rd Vice President Erin Maureen Koster, who represents stage managers. “That said, these workers are giving a master class in solidarity and it’s honestly our honor to witness that and to continue to support them through every step of the organizing process. One way or another, at the end of this process is the fair contract PAs have long deserved.” 

“These PAs are such essential members of the stage management team that when the employer hands out company contact sheets on the first day of rehearsal, they're listed alongside the PSM and ASMs,” said Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle. “Does anybody really think it's a coincidence that the vast majority of Broadway PAs are already Equity stage managers? This work clearly belongs on an Equity contract.  

“If the Broadway League's going to make us run an election, we'll run an election, and we'll see them at the bargaining table after the votes are counted.”

PAs are hourly employees who work as part of the stage management team from pre-production through opening night, doing everything from preparing rehearsal materials to ensuring decisions made during rehearsals are recorded to being extra sets of hands and eyes during complicated technical rehearsals to efficiently running errands that keep the rehearsal productive. Many are early-career stage managers, majority of whom are already members of Equity working on contract in other contexts. PAs are among the only Broadway workers without current union representation. While currently there are PAs working on fewer than a dozen productions, this campaign includes nearly 100 workers who have done the job in the last two years.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks  

September 29, 2023