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Latest meeting with Irish Equity

4 March 2014

Ireland/UK Action Group Meeting February 19th 2014

Equity, Guild House, London.

In attendance Stephen Spence, Louis Rolston, Padraig Murray and Karan O’Loughlin

Reciprocal Agreement
This document has now been adopted by the Executives of both Unions and will be posted on the members area of both websites. It was agreed that this agreement also covers the Exchange agreements that both unions have with the USA.

Film and TV Negotiations
The following co-productions are identified as being in pre-production or approaching pre-production.

1. Lobster

2. Secret Scripture

3. Brooklyn

Irish Equity will engage with these productions in the pre-production discussion and advise Equity of any relevant matters arising.

Equity gave updates in the following:

The negotiations on the repeats escalator are ongoing in relation to day time and prime time repeats.

It was noted that the Titanic Blood and Steel legal issues will be ongoing for some time.

The PACT/TV negotiations are ongoing with some progress on some issues but an overall agreement is proving difficult.

The BBC discussions on modernisation are ongoing also.

Equity have made their claim on PACT for the film negotiations but there is disagreement between the parties as to whether this can be completed while the TV negotiations are not complete.

National Insurance
Equity updated on the situation that from 6 April 2014 for tax, national insurance and social security purposes in the UK entertainers will be regarded as self employed.  For employment law purposes they will remain workers and for pension auto-enrolment purposes they will remain eligible job holders.  Equity's view is in main contract areas payslips will continue to be issued and invoicing for pay will not occur.  Major engagers agree with this position and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have not given an alternative view.  Advice has been issued to Equity members on registering for self employed National Insurance and how this should be done.

Irish Equity reported on the following
The final draft of the TV document has been submitted to SPI and a meeting the SPI at the Labour Relations Commission is set for March 12th.
Discussion with RTE on the renewal of the Fair City Player Agreement is almost complete with a 25% increase to be offered to the members concerned. The discussion on the introduction of a premium player may commence later in the year subject to confirmation from the regulator that such a development may proceed. The barrister dealing with the ILO Competition complaint gave a report recently to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and his address at Trinity College and be viewed here at this address. Irish Equity are also re-engaging the Government on this issue now that the IMF have departed.  http://www.ictu.ie/press/2014/01/29/congress-makes-collective-bargaining-complaint-to-court-of-human-rights-supreme-court-ruling-flawed-says-legal-expert/

Live Theatre Conference
The final draft of the bid document was examined and will have some adjustments made before it is submitted on February 28th. The Committee agreed however that the document was of an excellent standard and are hopeful of being successful with the bid.

Irish Equity AGM
As the Olivier awards are on the same date it is not possible for Equity to attend the Irish AGM. It was agreed however that Stephen Spence and Louis Rolston will attend the open meeting of actors being held by Irish Equity in Liberty Hall on March 9th 2014. Consequently the next Action Group meeting will be held on March 10th also in Liberty Hall.

Action Group members also discussed the jailing of activist Margaretta D'Arcy and possible resource co-operation between the two Equities.

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