#EquityWorks: Actors' Equity Approves New Agreement for Chicago Area Theatres

Actors’ Equity announced that it has arrived at a new Chicago Area Theatre (CAT) agreement with the Producers’ Association of Chicago Area Theatres (PACT). The agreement, which was unanimously approved by Equity's Central Regional Board on Monday, covers productions until 2022.  

With new provisions that ensure at least minimum wage is paid during rehearsal, members working on the new contract will see salary increases from 10 percent -- 43 percent over the four-year contract. 

“Our focus in this negotiation was two-fold: money and contracts,” said Dev Kennedy, Central Regional Vice President and a member of the negotiating team. “To that end, we were able to achieve ratio increases and tier increases for many of our CAT theatres. This means more money in our members’ pockets and more opportunities to work in Chicago.” 

Other key changes to the new contract include increases for overtime rates, media fees, and dance captains; minimum wage protections; protections for Stage Managers who take on additional duties and inclusion of anti-harassment language. 

The new terms of this agreement mark the latest in a series of additional and better-paying work opportunities organized by Equity as part of its Equity 2020 mission. The recent New England Area Theatres (NEAT) agreement created additional contracts for Chorus performers, Principal Performers and Stage Managers, who will also see their additional payments during Tech Week double. 

In May, Equity reached a deal with Norwegian Cruise Line, marking the first time that a full Equity cast has been used on a cruise ship.  In March, Equity reached an agreement with the producers of Rocktopia to ensure the show used wall-to-wall Equity contracts. In December, Equity announced a new three-year agreement with BroadwayCon, a contract that more than doubled the weekly salaries for stage managers and created a 95 percent increase in the weekly minimum for actors.