What do we do?
In a nutshell Equity:
- Campaigns and lobbies
- Provides Services
- Takes action
- Is a community
Equity is the only UK Trade Union to represent artists from across the entire spectrum of arts and entertainment. Formed in 1930 by a group of West End of London performers, Equity quickly spread to encompass the whole range of professional entertainment. Today our membership includes actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, stage managers, theatre directors and designers, variety and circus artists, stand up comedians, television and radio presenters, walk-on and supporting artists, models, stunt performers and directors and theatre fight directors.
Equity is not politically affiliated and so does not make payments to any political party. This puts Equity in the strong position of being able to lobby equally governments of all political colours. We are affiliated to the Trades Unions Congress and Equity delegates attend the annual TUC conference as a means of bringing our industry's issues to a wider audience.
The central activity of Equity is to negotiate minimum terms and conditions of employment throughout the entire world of entertainment and to endeavour to ensure these take account of social, economic and technological changes. We look to the future by negotiating employment agreements that embrace new and emerging technologies so satellite, digital television, new media, mobisodes, internet only productions, podcasting and so on are all covered, as are the more traditional areas.
We also work at national level by lobbying government and other bodies on issues of paramount importance to our membership. In addition, we operate at an international level through the Federation of International Artists which Equity helped to establish, the International Committee for Artistic Freedom and through agreements with sister unions overseas.
Equity provides a wide range of services for members and so with Equity membership comes a host of benefits which are continually being revised and developed.