As we join our sisters and brothers in solidarity this Labour Day weekend, ACTRA is in its own battle for workers’ rights as we bargain a new National Commercial Agreement (NCA).
Collective bargaining is the most important responsibility of any union. Throughout our history ACTRA has consistently made significant gains at the bargaining table to benefit all members, gains such as protection for child performers, strong health and safety standards, and compensation for the use of our work in new media.
Sometimes we run into obstacles that make it challenging to reach an agreement. But despite these obstacles your NCA negotiating team – a terrific group of performers showing remarkable dedication and professionalism on behalf of our union – continue to hold out hope that we will reach a fair and reasonable agreement. We have continued to bargain past the expiry of the contract with the assistance of a mediator. While we talk, the terms and conditions of the current contract remain in place, so you can continue to work and be paid. We will continue to keep you updated on developments in these talks.
United we are strong. This is why we performers built this union. We work to ensure each of us are protected on set and compensated fairly for the work that we do.
Jack Layton, one of the greatest advocates for workers and artists our country has ever had, is also very much on my mind. Jack understood the struggle of workers and fought with passion, optimism and integrity. He inspired so many of us and I am more committed than ever to doing what I can to support that vision of building a better Canada. If you have a Labour Day Parade in your community, maybe this is the year to honour Jack, wear your heart on your sleeve and walk. You can even bring the kids.
This weekend I urge you all to take a moment to think about your fellow performers and workers across the country and around the world. While we have much to celebrate, there is still much more to do.
ACTRA National President