Actors’ Equity has approved a fund for members who may lose out on work during the strike against developmental work, according to a letter sent to its members Tuesday.
In the letter, Equity said it had conducted “a full day” of negotiations with the Broadway League last week and had not yet reached a deal on an updated lab agreement, but had scheduled future talks. The union’s strike, which bars any Equity member or potential Equity member from participating in developmental work produced by the Broadway League, has been in effect since Jan. 7.
The League confirmed that the negotiations took place and that “talks are still ongoing.”
Equity has been negotiating with the League for the past two years over an update to the lab agreement, which has been unchanged for 12 years. The union has asked for higher weekly salaries as well as a share of the profits for members who participate in a show’s lab.
As negotiations continue, Equity’s fund is in place to help those actors who have received a written offer letter for developmental work produced by the League, but may be affected by the strike, according to the letter.
All Broadway League producers have been placed on Equity’s “Do Not Work” list. However, during the strike, some developmental work has been able to go forward with modified contracts because the shows are being produced by non-League producers.
A lab of “August Rush,” for example, was recently taken off the “Do Not Work” list, after Equity reached an agreement with an independent producer that gave the lab participants profit sharing, higher weekly salaries and more stage managers, according to the letter sent by Equity.
A reading of “Farewell My Concubine” and a presentation of “Chasing Rainbows” have also gone on during the strike.
However, there are still several upcoming labs listed that could be affected by the strike including “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” scheduled to take place in late February.