Strong Majority of Actors’ Equity Members Vote to Approve Referendum Creating a National Convention

First Convention Would Occur In Early 2021; Voter Turnout Increased Over 2013 

New York – Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theatre, has announced that a strong 79 percent majority of members voting have approved a series of changes to Equity’s Constitution which includes the creation of a national convention.  

"With delegates from across the country, a national convention will allow more members to have a voice in their union,” said Executive Director Mary McColl. “I am thrilled that Equity members have voted to create a more inclusive and forward-looking union.” 

Other reforms approved as part of the referendum package include the establishment of “At-Large” Council seats, assuring a voice in Equity’s governance for Equity members outside of New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. The Council size remains unchanged. Non-discrimination language throughout the Constitution was modernized to include more protected categories. 
Voter participation was up significantly. 11,479 members voted in the referendum this year, compared to the 9,756 members who voted on the last constitutional referendum in 2013.  

Launched April 2, the referendum was a continuing part of Equity 2020, a campaign to build a modern national union. The first convention will be held in early 2021 and will include 211 elected delegates from across the country who can come together to share common challenges, agree on a way to move forward and take up resolutions that help set policy for the union.  

Many other entertainment unions already have national convention structures. So do several of Equity’s larger employers. 

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.    

May 31, 2019