New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has sent a statewide member alert to all Equity members regarding the launch of New York City’s “Open Culture” program, allowing producers to apply for a permit to close a city street and hold an outdoor performance at a reduced cost.
Equity has asked its members to check with union staff before accepting work on an “Open Culture” project, as the program does not meet Equity’s minimum standards for wages or COVID-19 safety, including the following issues:
- The city permit process does not require that producers pay a living wage (despite explicitly permitting ticket sales and collecting donations).
- The city permit process does not require producers provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance.
- The city permit does not require that workers be tested for COVID-19.
- The city permit does not require performers to be socially distanced.
- The city permit does not have a formal requirement for a COVID-19 safety officer.
- The city permit process does not have appropriate safeguards to keep crowds distanced from the workers.
In anticipation of the launch of “Open Culture,” Equity submitted testimony to the city about the need to ensure that arts workers are properly protected and compensated.
Read the full member alert here.
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. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
March 4, 2021