NEW YORK CITY: Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) have announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract. The agreement remains subject to ratification by both AEA members and LORT members.
“We are pleased to have come to a tentative agreement with LORT that guarantees fair wages, while also making significant gains reflecting the hard work of stage managers, understudies, and actors who play musical instruments onstage,” AEA assistant executive director Andrea Hoeschen, the union’s lead negotiator in the agreement, said in a statement. “In the receding wake of a pandemic that devastated the livelihoods of actors and stage managers and posed an existential threat to the well-being of LORT theatres across the country, we are grateful to the Equity members and the members of LORT who worked tirelessly to find a path forward.”
After months of work, full bargaining began in New York last month and lasted for three days in person, with additional sessions occurring over Zoom. Both sides then reconvened for three further days in person in March. The teams reached a tentative agreement around 4:30 a.m. on Sat., March 25. Federal mediators Gemma Deleon-Lopresti and Nelson Rivera assisted both parties in reaching the agreement.
“On behalf of the League of Resident Theatres, we share the sentiment that these negotiations and our tentative agreement demonstrate the best way to navigate these challenging times,” LORT president Adam Siegel said in a statement. “We are deeply grateful for the support of everyone that participated in this process to make that possible.”
Hoeschen said in a statement that the tentative agreement features new safety rules to navigate public health emergencies, as well as provisions to prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion. The agreement also includes cost of living wage increases and “coverage that eases the pressure artists face to work when they are sick.”
LORT is one of the largest employers of Equity members in the country.
Actors’ Equity Association is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Founded in 1913, AEA endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions, and providing a wide range of benefits.
The League of Resident Theatres is the largest professional theatre association of its kind in the U.S., with 79 member theatres in 30 states and the District of Columbia. LORT member theatres collectively issue more Equity contracts to actors than Broadway and commercial touring productions combined.
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