Actors’ Equity Association, the union that represents stage actors and stage managers, has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the Broadway League, the trade association of theater producers and presenters.
That’s news that comes ahead of schedule: The current contract isn’t due to expire for another month. The quickie resolution suggests a relatively quiet, controversy-free negotiation process, as opposed to the down-to-wire back-and-forth that sometimes occurs.
The tentative agreement, negotiated for a four-year term expiring in September 2019, calls for wage and compensation increases in each year of the contract. According to the union, the contract also addresses life issues and work rules. The specifics of the deal will be released once the union ratifies the pact.
In the theater industry, labor negotiations are always watched with bated breath, since occasionally the process breaks down and leads to brinkmanship and strikes. A couple of work stoppages have shut down Broadway in recent memory, including the 2007 strike called by the stagehands’ union and the 2003 strike by the musicians’ union.
Equity’s National Council will meet in September to review the proposed agreement. The contract will then be sent out for a vote by union members who have worked under the production contract between 2008 and September 2015.