The show must go on, but the campaign for cheaper insurance must end – that is the message from Equity as its decade-long fight reaches a conclusion that has certainly not received a standing ovation.
Equity, the trade union for actors, has reportedly abandoned its efforts to secure cheaper insurance for its members, according to The Stage
. Members had put forward a motion to address insurers charging higher premiums to performers but Equity now believes there are “no strategies left” to explore.
The stand-down has been met with derision among members with Cliff Evans, from the union’s west of England branch, telling the publication that not continuing the fight was a disgrace.
“I along with many others find it quite astonishing that they have said this,” he said. “Imagine how long they would last if they took this attitude with negotiating contracts.
“Anti-discrimination and equality is a big thing in the world today and, plays a big part in Equity, so you would think that where there is such blatant discrimination they would not give up on it.”
Members wanted Equity to secure “preferential rates for performers” but Equity has stated that it has battled the issue for decades without success. Martin Brown, assistant general secretary for the union, told The Stage
that members feel that receiving higher premiums for being performers is wrong but that there is nothing more the union can do.
“There was a debate at the conference this year and it’s something members do really care about but we have run out of things we can do,” he said. “At the conference one of the speakers said that is not good enough, but in the end you have to deal with the reality, and we do not believe that Equity or indeed any other body can alter the way that underwriters assess risk.”
He outlined that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) had informed the union by letter that actors are more likely to be involved in collisions due to “unusual working hours” and driving when roads are more dangerous. With a potential for high claims with high-earning performers, insurance premiums are subsequently high.