Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Equity's conference backs call for change

24 May 2012

Equity Annual Representative Conference gave backing to a plan to restructure the union's Council and committees after a four hour debate. The decision means that the Equity can start plans for a referendum of members on a new structure for the Equity Council. Changes to Equity's committee structures do not require a referendum.

In his opening speech to the Conference, which was held in Birmingham over the weekend of 19 to 21 May, Equity President Malcolm Sinclair warned that unless Equity embraced change it could face the prospect of having to merge with other unions, just as had happened to performance unions in Ireland and Australia.

The Conference also carried motions on action to build a more diverse membership, tackling barriers to work for disabled performers, progress towards making a film on the misrepresentation of women in the media, a joint-union symposium on bullying, changes to the Equity web-site and magazine, inclusion of business skills in professional training, an increase in Equity subs, action on perceptions of Equity in the West End, action on fees for role-play, lobbying on artistic leadership of theatres, dialogues with local authorities on open air events, encouragement for more love variety shows in small venues, action against BBC cuts, support for broadcasting in the Midlands, calls for more local casting, lobbying for tax breaks for the games industry and a call for increased funding for  Northern Ireland Screen.

A full list of all motions carried is available from this web site.

Read how The Stage reported Equity's conference here.

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