TRACKING COMPLAINTS AND ALLEGATIONS AGAINST CHRONIC ABUSERS
Our industry has a reputation for turning a blind eye to chronic abusers and the freelance nature of so much of our work is the perfect environment for abusers to bounce from workplace to workplace, putting Equity members in harm's way. The one thing that doesn't change from job to job for our union members is their membership to Equity. That is why Equity should step up and track reports of abuse in order to recognize patterns and intervene to protect artists from abuse.
ANTI-RACISM TRAINING FOR EQUITY MEMBERS
Anti-racism training is a critical step in combating our industry's contributions to systemic racism. Our Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color colleagues are entitled to a safe workplace. Equity must dedicate resources to make anti-racism training available to all members and strongly encourage employers to implement their own anti-racism training and identifying a trained staff member to whom employees can safely report concerns about racism in the workplace.
ELIMINATE STAGE MANAGER JOB CONCESSIONS
Our agreements with employers state a certain number of Stage Manager contracts per production. It's an agreed upon term decided during our contract negotiations. So why does the union concede away these jobs after the fact when employers decide that they would rather hire fewer stage mangers? These concessions are often made with no advancements made on behalf of equity members, it disproportionately affects our SM members and it increases the burden placed on any Stage Managers that sign on to that agreement. It's time we halt all concessions of union stage management jobs.
The role of production assistants has been a hot-button issue for Equity Stage Managers and yet we still lack clear guidance from our Union. In the regions, it's understood that Equity members are not to take work as Production Assistants. In New York City, most Broadway shows have a slate of PAs who are all Union Stage Managers working off-contract. It's time the Union took a stand to protect our Equity Stage Managers and prevent union members from working off-contract as Production Assistants - if a production needs more stage managers to accomplish the work that is to be done, they need to be hiring union members on-contract.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF DEPUTIES
Like the inconsistencies surrounding Production Assistants, there is no consensus on whether or not the names of Equity Deputies are to be kept confidential or not. Confidentiality helps to protect Deputies from retribution when speaking up for members, but it also places our Equity Stage Managers in the position of being the sole face of the union within a production when there are conflicts. I think it's time we decide where we stand as a union so companies are acting on the same policy and guidelines when it comes to Deputies.
CHANGE THE UNION NAME TO "EQUITY"
I am a union Stage Manager and it's about time that our union name is inclusive of the artists it represents. Let's begin the process to change our Union's name to what many of us already call it - Equity - and end the exclusion of Stage Managers.
MAKE THE DELEGATE POSITION ACCESSIBLE TO ALL MEMBERS
Our current policy places work requirements for the Principal, Chorus and Stage Manager delegate positions. This restriction is unnecessary and limits access to the convention. I believe any member in good standing and without a conflict of interest should be allowed access to structuring the future of our union.