Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Council agrees democratic future for Equity

25 June 2012

After a nine month working party investigation, three months of consultation with branches, committees and members and a four hour Annual Representative Conference debate the Equity Council has agreed the democratic framework for Equity’s future.

The new structures are designed to connect the union more closely to the industry in which members work and to create new ways for members to interact with their union as well as to use the union’s scarce financial and human resources more effectively.

There will be a Council of 31 plus the President with a general list of 12 and reserved seats for a young member, a member with disabilities, a minority ethnic member,  a stage manager, a creative team member, a singer, a dancer and a choreographer and four reserved seats for variety, circus and entertainers.  There are also reserved seats for Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South West England, South East England, Northern England and the Midlands.

The new Council structure will be implemented in the 2014 round of elections but only if it is approved by members in a referendum. The referendum is expected to take place later this year.

In the new committee structure there will be three powerful industrial committees covering stage, screen and variety. They will be elected by members and the stage and screen committees will have reserved seats to ensure the voices of actors, directors, designers, stage managers, dancers, choreographers and walk-ons are all heard. These committees will have a significant degree of autonomy to negotiate industrial settlements within policy parameters established by the Council.

There will also be sub-committees for audio artists, singers and the creative team and a committee for accrediting stunt performers.

Equal opportunities continues to have central importance for Equity with committees for members with disabilities, minority ethnic members, women, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender members and young members.

Committees for the nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to meet as will the deputies committees for the West End and opera.

The Council has the authority to make changes to Equity’s committee structure and so no referendum of members is necessary. The changes will be introduced for the 2013 round of committee election but only after the Council has in January reviewed progress towards establishing on-line networks which are aimed at giving a much bigger number of members a say in the democracy of their union.

• Full details of the new structures are available at

• Download the latest Equity Council Report from

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