ACTRA National Council unanimously passed a series of amendments to the ACTRA National By-Laws with the objective of growing the membership and offering security and stability to professional performers across the country.

The transition period for the implementation of the changes will run from September 15, 2022, to February 28, 2023. The amendments meet the needs of Canada’s thriving screen-based industry and reflect current standards and practices. To review the full text, please refer to the ACTRA National By-Laws.  

What’s changed?

Work Permit Fees (By-Law #3, Section II, 2): Qualifying work permits towards ACTRA membership are now capped at three (3) for non-members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. A non-member will not be eligible for any further work permits without the Branch/Local Union’s permission or in accordance with an exception noted in ACTRA’s Constitution if they elect not to join ACTRA on their third qualifying work permit.  

Service Charges and Surcharges (By-Law #4, 1 a) and b)): A non-member who has reached their cap of three (3) qualifying work permits and elects not to join ACTRA will be required to pay a surcharge of an additional 100 per cent (100%) of the applicable work permit fee (increased from 50% of the work permit fee) should additional work permits be approved under extraordinary circumstances or in accordance with an exception noted in ACTRA’s Constitution.  

How will this impact performers who have previously worked on permits?
  • During the transition period (September 15, 2022, to February 28, 2023):
    • Performers seeking a qualifying work permit under the National Commercial Agreement (NCA) who have previously worked on three (3) or more qualifying work permits will only be permitted to work if they become Full Members or qualify under exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Their initiation fee will be reduced by the equivalent of the last two (2) permit fees paid (not including surcharges).
    • Performers seeking qualifying work permits under our other agreements who have previously worked on three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be invited to join as Full members on their next qualifying work permit and have the equivalent of their last two applicable permit fees deducted from their Full member initiation fee. If they choose not to join, there is a maximum of three permits allowable during this transition period and surcharges will apply.
  • After the transition period (March 1, 2023, onwards):
    • Performers with three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be invited to join as Full members. Additional qualifying work permits will not be granted.
    • Please note: additional qualifying work permits may be issued due to exceptional or extraordinary circumstances, as stipulated in our reciprocal agreements or in accordance with ACTRA’s Constitution.
After February 28, 2023, to be eligible to work under an ACTRA agreement, will performers with three (3) or more qualifying work permits be required to join as Full members?
Yes. Effective March 1, 2023, any performer with three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be required to join as a Full member.
Are Apprentice Members required to join as Full Members after earning three (3) credits or can they remain as Apprentices?
In accordance with the ACTRA National Constitution and By-Laws (By-Law #2), Apprentice members are required to join ACTRA as Full Members upon receiving their third qualifying work permit. Branches may negotiate a payment plan to assist the performer in paying their Full member initiation fee.
Isn’t union membership voluntary?
The ACTRA National By-Laws have been amended to protect the interests of the union's members. Canadian non-members have the right to join the union in accordance with these rules. Conversely, Canadian non-members also have the choice to not join the union. However, if Canadian non-members wish to enjoy the benefits ACTRA members have fought for and that are provided under ACTRA's collective agreements, they can only do so three (3) times under a work permit. It is then their choice whether or not they join ACTRA.
Can I still join ACTRA after September 15, 2022?
Yes! ACTRA welcomes into the union anyone who has been issued a qualifying work permit and will continue to do so.