As a union, we represent workers, not technology. Actors and stage managers, not cameras and microphones. That means our focus is on contracts that allow members the opportunity to earn fair pay and health care.
That is why the national council passed a resolution yesterday making it clear that Equity will fight for members to earn health weeks and fair pay with longstanding Equity employers.
We’ve been disappointed to hear that @sagaftra has been offering Equity theaters contracts with “deferred compensation” agreements that undercut Equity wages & benefits.
We were even more disappointed to hear from many stage managers that they have been fired when SAG-AFTRA signs an Equity employer.
It didn’t have to be this way. We spent months privately discussing with SAG-AFTRA how union/employer relationships work and asked them to not interfere with Equity employers.
This dispute only hurts actors and stage managers.
Our focus is on doing what is right for our members and the industry. We’re going to keep issuing agreements to Equity employers that allow members to earn fair pay and health weeks.
Highlights from Council’s resolution:
WHEREAS Actors’ Equity Association’s signatory employers and employer groups recognize Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) as the exclusive bargaining representative of Stage Managers and Actors in their employ, and
The recent unsanctioned organizing efforts of Equity employers by @SAGAFTRA are in direct violation of Article XX, Section 2 of the constitution of the @AFLCIO which states in part that,
“No affiliate shall organize or attempt to represent employees as to whom an established collective bargaining relationship exists with any other affiliate,” and
SAG-AFTRA’s claim of “jurisdiction” does not in any way override Equity’s Recognition Agreements with its own bargaining partners, rendering invalid and unnecessary any subsequent “waiver” offered by SAG-AFTRA; and
SAG-AFTRA’s unsanctioned organizing efforts of Equity employers have directly resulted in significant loss of $600,000 in earning for Equity members, and $154,000 in lost contributions to the Equity Health Fund, and
This being especially true for Equity Stage Managers, whose union jobs SAG-AFTRA neglects and fails to represent, and
...especially true for BIPOC Equity members, members w/disabilities and members experiencing gender bias in hiring, all of whom already suffer a disproportionately lower rate of employment opportunities, and are disproportionately negatively impacted by economic inequality, and
The SAG-AFTRA contracts being utilized by Equity employers frequently offer lower salaries and indefinite deferments of pay, preclude Equity Pension and Health contributions, neglect the jobs of SM and ASM, and offer weaker COVID-19 health and safety protocols...
Equity’s calls for SAG-AFTRA to cease its unsanctioned organizing of our employers and employer groups have gone unheeded, undermining Equity’s ability to protect its members and contracts during the pandemic, and
NOW BE IT RESOLVED Equity will respond appropriately & publicly to SAG-AFTRA’s infringement on its legal rights & relationships with its bargaining partners, and will defend its legally binding CBAs with employers in order to represent its members to the best of its ability, and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Equity fully intends to honor & defend its place in the larger labor movement, as should every other affiliate, respecting strict adherence to the Recognition Clause, one of the basic doctrines of trade unionism, and a core tenet of the AFL-CIO.

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