Irish Equity & Equity UK call for better working conditions for onscreen talent

The partnership marks a historic first meeting of both unions.

Members of Irish Equity and Equity UK have partnered together to call for equal treatment and better working conditions for Ireland-based performers working on international co-productions in the country.

Irish Equity and Equity (UK) have claimed international production companies are applying lesser terms and conditions to Ireland-based performers. Plus that international production companies have denied equal rights to local performers on production sets in Ireland despite receiving generous subsidies under the Section 481 Film Tax Credit.

Equity UK point out that when working on the same film or TV production, UK performers do so on standard Equity UK union contracts that entitle them to receive payment for royalties, residuals and repeats, while their Irish colleagues are on non-union contracts that do not.

Both unions have urged film productions in Ireland must have fairer conditions for all professional performers through collective bargaining and agreement with union representatives. Union members also agreed to mobilise their colleague actors to stop the unfair practices and ensure better treatment.

Paul Fleming, general secretary at Equity, said: "We are very pleased to have, for the first time, brought together Irish Equity and Equity members in the UK and Northern Ireland to discuss a critical issue about film and TV production rights on the island of Ireland. We want to continue to work with Irish Equity and members of both Unions to showcase how important it is that the terms and conditions are equitable for those working in film and TV all over Ireland, to harmonise our expectations of fair treatment and ensure a good deal from producers."

Gerry O’Brien, president of Irish Equity added: “Both Unions have been compromised by the dominant position exercised by producers in imposing lesser terms and conditions in their agreements on Irish based performers in the Republic of Ireland. At the point of production, in both television series and films, the minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers can favour non-resident performers over local hire. Most crucially, the assignment of performers rights, which are protected in legislation, fall far below the international norm. It is these rights which produce ‘residual payments’ for performers.”

Irish Equity & Equity UK call for better working conditions for onscreen talent
Irish Equity & Equity UK call for better working conditions for onscreen talent

Members of Irish Equity and Equity UK have partnered together to call for equal treatment and better working conditions for Ireland-based performers working on international co-productions in the country.

Irish Equity and Equity (UK) have claimed international production companies are applying lesser terms and conditions to Ireland-based performers. Plus that international production companies have denied equal rights to local performers on production sets in Ireland despite receiving generous subsidies under the Section 481 Film Tax Credit.

Equity UK point out that when working on the same film or TV production, UK performers do so on standard Equity UK union contracts that entitle them to receive payment for royalties, residuals and repeats, while their Irish colleagues are on non-union contracts that do not.

Both unions have urged film productions in Ireland must have fairer conditions for all professional performers through collective bargaining and agreement with union representatives. Union members also agreed to mobilise their colleague actors to stop the unfair practices and ensure better treatment.

Paul Fleming, general secretary at Equity, said: "We are very pleased to have, for the first time, brought together Irish Equity and Equity members in the UK and Northern Ireland to discuss a critical issue about film and TV production rights on the island of Ireland. We want to continue to work with Irish Equity and members of both Unions to showcase how important it is that the terms and conditions are equitable for those working in film and TV all over Ireland, to harmonise our expectations of fair treatment and ensure a good deal from producers."

Gerry O’Brien, president of Irish Equity added: “Both Unions have been compromised by the dominant position exercised by producers in imposing lesser terms and conditions in their agreements on Irish based performers in the Republic of Ireland. At the point of production, in both television series and films, the minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers can favour non-resident performers over local hire. Most crucially, the assignment of performers rights, which are protected in legislation, fall far below the international norm. It is these rights which produce ‘residual payments’ for performers.”

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