At its meeting on Tuesday, January 15, the Council of Actors' Equity overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year SET (Short Engagement Touring) Agreement. This agreement, which governs qualifying productions on the road, achieves significant salary and per diem increases and other improvements.
"I am pleased to report that the Negotiating Team and Equity staff negotiated a strong financial package and improvements in quality of life issues," said Actors' Equity Executive Director Mary McColl, who served as Chief Negotiator. She stressed: "These are two areas that are very important to our members," adding "Extensive surveys and member outreach in advance of the negotiations gave our Negotiating Team a clear directive and focus that succeeded at the bargaining table."
Since its inception in 2008, 30 productions have toured using the agreement, which generated over 20,700 work weeks for Equity Actors and Stage Managers. "The SET Agreement creates Equity jobs on the road, that otherwise would be non-union," continued McColl. "This agreement allowed us to regain workweeks during the most serious economic down-turn since the Great Depression, in a toxic, anti-labor atmosphere that has seen the gutting of collective bargaining rights across the country. Because of the SET Agreement, audiences nationwide benefit by seeing Equity productions that employ our members."
Highlights of the SET Agreement include the following:
- Annual increases to the minimum salary totaling 10.4% , retroactive terms for shows running at the time of ratification (January 15). Terms and conditions for salary, per diem, etc. go into effect January 21, 2013, unless otherwise specified
- Initial increases to the single occupancy per diem rate (12%) and double occupancy per diem rate (25%) with additional increases annually
- Increases in the following increments: Chorus Understudying Principal; Principal Understudy; Six-Month Chorus Rider; Principal Term; Second ASM Additional Duty
- Out-of-town Actors will now have the option of provided housing, or an increased per diem (20% in the first year, with subsequent increases each additional year) for rehearsals
- Increases to Overage Participation (both pre- and post-recoupment) starting in June 2013
- New raked stage provisions allowing for Extraordinary Risk designation and payment
- Establishment of a Labor-Management Committee to address contractual concerns during the term of the Agreement
- Language clearly defining Stage Manager overtime and accelerated health payments for short-term Stage Managers
AEA Executive Director McColl served as Chief Negotiator; Equity's Negotiating Team was chaired by Councillor Jeff Williams, with team members from all regions and work categories (Principal, Chorus, Stage Management). Additional support was provided by Equity staff.
A list of current and upcoming tours is listed below:
- Anything Goes
- Billy Elliot
- Les Miserables
- Million Dollar Quartet
- Nunset Boulevard
- Peter Pan
- Priscilla Queen of the Desert
- Sister Act