Stars, Stage and Union: City of Los Angeles Grants Union Recognition to the Griffith Observatory Planetarium’s Lecturers

Los Angeles–- Lecturers who narrate the planetarium shows at Griffith Observatory and who took steps late last year to form a union, this week have been granted union recognition by the City of Los Angeles’ City Employee Relations Board. The lecturers who are affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live entertainment, will now sit down with city representatives to bargain a first contract.

“We are incredibly proud and deeply protective of the work we do here,” said Michael Faulkner, one of the planetarium lecturers. “The team of live narrators in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium are integral to the mission of Griffith Observatory, and a big part of what makes it one of the City of Los Angeles’ most unique, inspiring and beloved institutions. Organizing with Equity, to have a collective voice when speaking to our employer, is one way of ensuring that the tradition of using live lecturers to narrate planetarium shows can remain a cherished part of the Griffith Observatory experience for millions of locals and tourists alike for years to come.”

“The lecturers who give voice to these presentations are critical to maintaining Griffith Observatory's reputation as one of the world's premiere planetariums,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “We anticipate the cooperation of the City of Los Angeles and look forward to bargaining a first contract and a fair contract.”

For more information on the Griffith Observatory lecturers and their campaign for union recognition listen to “Storytellers at a Los Angeles planetarium join the union representing Broadway actors” from this morning’s broadcast of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

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

April 25, 2023
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