Equity is its members: you inform everything your union does, from negotiating holiday pay to lobbying political parties to change national law.
The union has a formal structure, to ensure that all members are represented and that major union decisions are made democratically.
Annual Representative Conference (ARC) is an annual event where motions sent by branches, committees, AGMs and Council are debated and discussed. Representatives come together to decide which motions shall be passed and become part of union policy. Want to take part? Put yourself forward to represent your branch or committee, or attend ARC as an observer.
Council is made up of 32 members and the President, and is the union’s main policy-forming body. There are both general list and specialist councillors, and the group meets 12 times a year to debate and discuss Equity matters, and attend the ARC. Want to stand for Council? Nominations are open once every two years.
Officers include Equity’s President, who is elected by the union’s membership every two years. There are also two Vice Presidents and an Honorary Treasurer, who are elected from the Council and by the Council. The General Secretary is the fifth officer. The General Secretary is the head of the union, and a permanent member of staff, who is elected every five years by Equity’s members.
Deputies (or Deps) who represent their fellow union members on a production. They report issues affecting themselves and their colleagues to Equity, and help redress any issues that may arise. They also rally non-union members of cast and crew into becoming a part of the movement by joining Equity. Want to help your co-workers? Volunteer to be a deputy.
Branches are local groups of members who meet to discuss issues facing the industry, to campaign for change and to socialise. The Equity Online branch is open to all members who can access the internet. Branches put forward motions to Council and ARC, which shape the future of the union. You can get involved by attending meetings, and you can help run your branch by putting yourself forward at a branch committee election.
Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are national and regional meetings open to all members, where they can hear reports on the work of their local branches and their union, and where they can contribute to motions sent to Council and ARC.
Committees are elected groups of members who work on resolving issues relating to a specific sector, geographical area, or equalities issue. They also put forward motions to Council and ARC. Interested in working for a committee? Put yourself forward for one - elections are held every two years.
Working Parties are made up of Councillors, staff and other members. They are focused on a specific issue within the industry (such as sexual harassment, or arts policy) and they consult people with specialist knowledge. Through meetings and research, they then provide in-depth reports which inform the union and can be used in discussions with employers, the government, and other public bodies.
Networks provide a space for professionals within a specific field of work (whether this is juggling, circus, comedy or modelling) to meet and talk about their sector, and to feed back their common concerns (and their ideas for action) to the union. Have something to say? Share it with your network.