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Actors’ Equity & Off-Broadway League Reach New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Published Sunday, August 15, 2021
by Actors’ Equity News
Actors’ Equity & Off-Broadway League Reach New Collective Bargaining Agreement

(NEW YORK CITY) - Actors’ Equity Association and the Off-Broadway League have announced a new three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The agreement reflects a shared commitment to deliver a contract that addresses the challenges caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic and includes new workplace safety guidelines and long-term financial stability for Actors, Stage Managers and Producers, Union Officials said.

The agreement also has new provisions that strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and protocols for addressing issues of harassment and discrimination.

The agreement begins retroactively on August 1st, 2021 and expires on July 28th, 2024. 

Key provisions include: Pay increases for Actors and Stage Managers that provide long-term financial security; Updated language around Diverse and Inclusive Casting and Hiring policies and practices; Creation of new work schedules during rehearsal workweeks and tech time that provide Actors, Stage Managers and Producers with continued flexibility; Removal of gender binary-based distinctions wherever possible in audition, hiring, rehearsal and production processes; Enhanced language and policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment, along with clarified procedures to address complaints; and An option for Producers to make their Off-Broadway productions available to a broader audience base through streaming platforms

The agreement also includes COVID-19 protocols and other safety requirements that reflect a shared understanding of the needs of Actors, Stage Managers and Producers when it comes to keeping everyone safe from the virus.

The safety protocol also recognizes the disparate needs of OBL members and provides for options that meet those needs.

“This agreement builds on the success of our last negotiation with the Off-Broadway League,” Actors’ Equity Executive Director Mary McColl said. “The Off-Broadway League agreed that simply returning to work is not enough - the work needs to be safe and sustainable.  Together we have made important inroads on wages as well as Worker safety - both on COVID-19 and as it pertains to bullying, harassment and discrimination.”

Off-Broadway League President Casey York said: “This agreement puts everyone on the path to recovery after an unprecedented period of uncertainty for our industry.  Our goal heading into these sessions was always to secure a long-term deal that would provide Members with clarity and stability coming out of the pandemic, and we have achieved that with a new three-year agreement.  I am also incredibly proud that this agreement will also help increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the Off-Broadway community through new hiring practices, while also strengthening industry policies to address harassment and discrimination.  I want to thank our incredible co-chairs for their hard work over these past few months.  They have shown a tireless commitment to achieving a fair and equitable deal.  We look forward to bringing artists and audiences back to our venues with the guidelines necessary to do so safely and equitably.”

Actors' Equity, founded in 1913, represents more than 51,000 Professional Actors and Stage Managers.

The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres, to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as the collective voice of its Membership in pursuit of these goals. 

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