Equity Council digest - October 2019

At its meeting in October 2019, the Equity Council made the following decisions: 

  • To thank member Charmaine Parkin, who had volunteered to take part in a judicial review of Minimum Income Floor, part of the new Universal Credit regime. The High Court has ruled in favour of the government, stating that the discrimination in the system was ‘justified’. Equity will continue to pursue political avenues to fight this discrimination against our members in the benefits system.
  • To raise the qualification level for courses whose graduates are automatically entitled to full Equity membership to Level 6 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (England & NI)/Credit & Qualifications Framework for Wales (Level 9 on the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework).
  • To confirm the panel to interview for the Council’s candidate for the post of General Secretary in the 2020 election.
  • To confirm the delegation to the EuroFIA meeting in November 2019.
  • To confirm the Councillors who will attend meetings of the working party on the future of the Annual Representative Conference.
  • That the Council will not make any decisions on any recommendations arising from the review of general and variety branches until these have been sent back to the branches again.
  • To work with engagers in promoting the eradication of plastic waste.
  • To change the rules of specialist and industrial committees so that the outgoing chair and vice-chair can remain in office until the election of new committee officers.
  • To approve the co-option of Martyn Harrison to the Singers Committee.

 The Council also discussed:

  • The launch of the Arts Policy & Campaigning Report
  • HMRC and members’ tax status
  • The Equity/BBC agreement and the iPlayer licence extension proposals
  • Walk-on & supporting artists agreements for film & television
  • The engagement of actors in video games
  • The revised code of conduct for auditions on Equity theatre agreements
  • Proposals for a 5 day working week in rehearsals on Equity theatre agreements
  • The engagement of puppeteers in theatre
  • The Blackpool Variety Museum
  • The British Equity Collecting Society
  • The 151st Trade Union Congress, held in Brighton 8th-11th September 2019
  • Brexit
  • The Referendum on Rules 3, 15 and 27
  • Enhanced funding for the improved provision of mental health and well-being support for members. Detailed proposals will be brought to the November Council meeting. This will replace the 2 year temporary post of Membership Support Assistant which will end in January 2020.

The Council also welcomed a new record number of members in benefit, with the union’s total membership (excluding students) now standing at 47,456.

A minute’s silence was held to mark the passing of former Councillor Patricia Leventon.

You can contact the Council via their page on the website.