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March 2014
Branch Newsletter
Yorkshire Ridings General Branch

Issue 14

Dear __NAME__

What Do You Want from Equity?

What does Equity do well? What could the union do better? What would you like Equity to do that it isn’t doing at the moment? At this month’s Branch Meeting, you will have the chance to hear from and put your questions to Equity’s chief national officer - General Secretary Christine Payne. We hope you can come along on:

Wednesday 19 March


at Arts@Trinity

Holy Trinity Church, Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6HW

Christine Payne has worked for Equity since 1979. She was elected General Secretary in 2005 and plans to stand for election for a third five year term in 2015. Since becoming General Secretary, Christine has worked to increase the prominence of the Equalities agenda in Equity and has also presided over the recent controversial reorganisation of Equity’s structure. Christine is keen for Equity to engage with the wider trades union movement and is the first ever Equity General Secretary to sit on the TUC General Council.

Arts@Trinity is a short walk from Leeds railway station. For parking Trinity Leeds car park in Swinegate is recommended.


Can You Help Make Your Branch Better?

We need to strengthen our Branch Committee as two of the members who were elected at the AGM have resigned. If you have ideas on how we can make our Branch more relevant to you as members we would love to hear from you. We would particularly welcome new committee members who can help to improve the Branch’s social media presence or help with fund raising. We would also like to encourage Women and younger members to get involved – while we welcome the contribution made by current committee members, we are aware that the committee is currently dominated by older white men and we wish to achieve a better membership balance. The Committee has adopted a collective working policy which can be downloaded at: If you are interested in joining the Committee, or want to know more, please ring Pete Keal on 01422 885211 or e-mail


Trades Union Activist Skills Training

Your Branch Committee is organising a 3 day Trades Union Skills course in conjunction with Leeds College’s Trade Union Studies Department. The course will cover areas such as chairing meetings, minute taking, Equal Opportunities, recruiting new members, IT for union activists and Social Media. A Leeds City Centre venue will be arranged and the course will take place on Tuesdays 24 June, 1 & 8 July from 10am – 5pm each day. The course will be free and participants need to be able to commit for all 3 days. If you would like to join this course, please e-mail by 31 May.


Look What You Missed!

Only 5 members came to the February meeting, so the Branch will not be able to send a motion to this year’s ARC. Branch Chair Gordon Steff said: “The talk from York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director Damian Cruden at February’s Branch meeting was a great learning curve essential to Equity’s membership and the entire profession.”


Please Help Us to Raise Some Money?

 Your Equity Branch holds a Raffle to raise money for branch funds at each meeting and we need prizes! Can you donate a prize for a future raffle? It would be a good opportunity to recycle something you no longer want for a good cause! If you can spare a raffle prize, please bring it to any Branch meeting.

Your Branch also needs help with Fund Raising. If you can help with this, please e-mail


Dates for Future Branch Meetings

Wednesday 19 March 2.00pm - Branch Meeting at Arts@Trinity, Leeds with Christine Payne speaking.

April Branch Meeting in Leeds - to be arranged

Monday 12 May 2pm Meeting at Hull Truck Theatre.

Saturday 14 June 12.30pm - Election Hustings at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.

Saturday 5 July 12.30pm - Louise Grainger speaking on the Creating Without Conflict report on Harassment and Bullying in the Creative Industries at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.


Branch Contacts

Branch Secretary: Pete Keal, tel/fax 01422 885211; e-mail

Contact information for other Branch Officers


Branch Resources:

The Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings can be read at A copy of the Standard Agenda can be downloaded at

To download the minutes of past Branch Meetings, go to and click on Documents. Minutes of Branch Meetings since Nov 2012 are now available. You will need to log in to the Equity Web site with your membership number and your password before the Minutes can be downloaded. Notes of the February 2014 Branch meeting will be available soon.


Branch Web Site
Link to our RSS News feed:

Facebook page (shared with
South Yorkshire Variety Branch)


 If you have something you would like included in the Branch Newsletter, please e-mail


Equity News

Stand up to racism Thumbnail

Stand up to racism

10 Mar 2014
March with Equity on 22 March, the United Nations' Anti-racism Day

(Full story...)

Important advice on changes to National Insurance  Thumbnail

Important advice on changes to National Insurance

24 Feb 2014
Equity issues guidance for members in advance of NI changes taking effect on 6 April

(Full story...)

Nottingham and Cardiff cut funding to Playhouse and Sherman Thumbnail

Nottingham and Cardiff cut funding to Playhouse and Sherman

28 Feb 2014
Nottingham and Cardiff both cut all funding for theatres

(Full story...)

ACE must tackle ‘working for free’ culture Equity says Thumbnail

ACE must tackle ‘working for free’ culture Equity says

27 Feb 2014
Equity has called on Arts Council England to do more to tackle the issue of unpaid work in the culture sector

(Full story...)

Arts news round-up Thumbnail

Arts news round-up

11 Mar 2014
A quick look at the arts, broadcasting and entertainment stories from Tuesday 11 March

(Full story...)

Spring magazine now online Thumbnail

Spring magazine now online

20 Feb 2014
Equity's spring magazine features Alan Davies celebrating 25 years as an Equity member and we recall the union's involvement with the anti-apartheid struggle

(Full story...)

Branch News

Goodbye Yvonne  Thumbnail

Goodbye Yvonne

10 Mar 2014
Our Treasurer, Yvonne Okyere-Whalley will shortly be returning to Ghana to join her husband and family.

(Full story...)

Council Supports Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign Thumbnail

Council Supports Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

11 Mar 2014
- Equity’s Council has voted to support Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign’s call for a public enquiry into the policing of the 1984 Miners’ Strike. OTJC is holding a demonstration outside the northern Independent Police Complaints Commission office on 28 March.

(Full story...)

A purchaser's guide to house buying Thumbnail

A purchaser's guide to house buying

11 Mar 2014
Useful tips from Morrish Solicitors

(Full story...)

Branch Events

YRG Branch Meeting Mar '14

19 March 2014  Arts@Trinity, Holy Trinity Church, Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6HW

Please come to our March Branch meeting when Equity General Secretary Christine Payne will be the speaker.

YRG Branch Meeting May '14

12 May 2014  Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LB

Joint Humberside Variety Branch and Yorkshire Ridings General Branch meeting with Hull Truck Theatre Artistic Director Mark Babych speaking.

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