Actors’ Equity Association Unionizes Broadway Production Assistants
Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced that it has organized the production assistants (PAs) who work as part of stage management teams on Broadway and sit-down productions produced by members of The Broadway League. When The Broadway League refused to offer voluntary recognition, Equity filed with the NLRB to move forward.
PAs are hourly employees work as part of the stage management team from pre-production through opening night, doing everything from preparing rehearsal materials to ensuring decisions made during rehearsals are recorded to being extra sets of hands and eyes during complicated technical rehearsals to efficiently running errands that keep the rehearsal productive. Many are early-career stage managers, some of whom are already members of Equity working on contract in other contexts. PAs are among the only Broadway workers without current union representation. This bargaining unit includes both the current PAs working on about ten productions, as well as about 100 who have worked on Broadway the last two years.
“We had high hopes for a swift and collaborative process with The Broadway League, and are disappointed to hear they've chosen the more contentious path,” said Actors’ Equity Association 3rd Vice President Erin Maureen Koster, who represents stage managers. “That said, these workers are giving a master class in solidarity and it’s honestly our honor to witness that and to continue to support them through every step of the organizing process. One way or another, at the end of this process is the fair contract PAs have long deserved.”