Actors’ Equity announced that it has arrived at a new New England Area Theatres (NEAT) agreement for Boston-area theatres. The agreement, which was unanimously approved by Equity's Eastern Regional Board Friday, starts on September 3, 2018, and lasts through September 4, 2022.
Key changes to the new contract include a 28 percent increase to minimum salaries; increases to the number of required Principal contracts, Chorus contracts and Stage Manager contracts. Additionally transportation reimbursement will be required for actors who live between 50 and 75 miles from the theater. Furthermore, should nudity be required, the member must be put on a contract for the callback, thus not only receiving salary for the callback, but more importantly being covered by the producer's staff harassment policy as a clear employee.
“The NEAT contract is the latest in a series of agreements we've negotiated that will lead to higher wages and more opportunities for Equity members," said Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association. "This contract was driven by the needs of our members in Boston, and I want to thank all the members of the Liaison Committee who volunteered their time to help us with the negotiating process."
In the 2018 Regional Theatre Report, Actors’ Equity shared that more than 1,100 Equity members live in the Greater Boston area, including Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and that it averaged 9.6 work weeks per member.
“As someone who has been negotiating this contract for so many years, I was thrilled to see so many Equity members in the room talking about how we could move forward together to create a stronger professional theatre community for Boston Actors and Stage Managers,” said Spiro Veloudos, President with Producers Association Of New England Area Theatres (NEAT).
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. In May, they 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.