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Equity Secures New Deal for Independent Theatre

24 April 2017

Equity celebrates the improved conditions recently negotiated with the Independent Theatre Council. The new deal will benefit performers and stage managers working for ITC Ethical Managers in independent theatre. The terms of the agreement were approved by Equity’s Stage Committee on Tuesday 18th April and are already in effect.

The new basic rate of pay is £458 per week, up from £447.50 in 2016/17. All additional payments, touring allowances and creative team fees have increased by the same percentage.

Equity allowed no reduction of terms during the negotiations. Equity members will continue to benefit from decent holiday, overtime, hours of work, touring and sickness provisions.

In a move welcomed by Equity’s Stage Management section, a new cap on overtime was established to tackle the problem of unmanageable Stage Management hours. Under the new agreement, the aggregating of overtime is now capped at 57 hours per week.

The Equity/ITC agreement sets the industry standard for terms and conditions in funding applications, and Equity is calling on Arts Council funded companies to respect industry standards.

Emmanuel de Lange, Equity’s Independent Theatre Organiser, said:

“Equity members value the work opportunities and creative contribution of the Independent Theatre sector, which we know has been suffering from the cuts to government arts funding.

We wanted this pay deal to maintain fair pay for Equity members, respecting the rights they have as workers, without damaging funded companies. We feel this settlement gets the balance right.

We now want to see more companies signing up to use this agreement, and call on all Independent Theatre employers to sign up to use it.

Equity’s Stage Management Committee welcomes the new overtime cap, which will help tackle the excessive hours culture affecting our members. Not only will it mean extra pay where long hours are unavoidable, but we also hope that it will act as a deterrent to unreasonable scheduling.”

Milo Twomey, Actor, Equity Stage Committee, said:

“The negotiations weren’t easy, as we all know the impact funding cuts have on this sector, but I am pleased we have reached a fair deal for both sides.

There are still problems to be tackled though – too many heavily funded companies still don’t use Equity contracts, undercutting their competitors and damaging the sector. Taxpayers money comes with responsibilities attached, so we want to see all funded companies using Equity contracts.”

Details of the new agreement can be found in the new ITC rate card.

For more information contact Emmanuel de Lange at edelange@equity.org.uk.

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