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Equity, LORT to meet over resident pact

Major issues include contributions to health fund, wages

HOLLYWOOD — Actors’ Equity and the League of Resident Theaters will begin negotiations Monday at the union’s headquarters in Gotham. Contract was set to expire in late February but has been extended to March 6.

Used by more than 80 regional nonprofit theaters in the country, the LORT contract represents 15.4% of all Equity earnings and 55,270 work weeks. The Production Contract, used for Broadway and the road, covers 69,578 work weeks.

According to Equity exec director Alan Eisenberg, major issues on the table for the thesps are contributions to the health fund and wages.

“The union used to be afraid of the way theaters recorded shows and used electronic data for advertising and on the Internet,” said Michael Maso, general manager of Boston’s Huntington Theater, who heads up the LORT side. “But such usage is not threatening; it generates revenues, promotes the work and would be advantageous to both sides and needs to be extended.”

The new Production Contract, which was finalized in the summer, restructured actors’ payment skeds for commercials and was expanded to include cable and Internet at no additional fee to producers.