Thursday, March 27, 2014

New rules for CTA ratification votes

During the 2012 ratification vote for the CTA, there was considerable member discussion on the eligibility criteria for voting. A bit of background: the voting pool for all agreements has historically been defined as members who have been engaged under the expiring agreement (typically the previous three years).

As mentioned at the time, the rationale for this approach was threefold: equal voting rights across all negotiated agreements; a ratification processes within our financial resources; and a decision made by members with the most current knowledge and whose input shaped the negotiations. Still, members made it clear that they thought it was time for a change, and Council has recently completed bylaw amendments to bring that about.

Going forward, the CTA will have a separate set of ratification rules. All members in good standing who have worked under any theatre agreement providing for minimum scale fees*, during the six year period ending with the expiry date of the agreement, will now be automatically eligible to vote. This change will increase the voting pool considerably. 

In addition, any member in good standing who is not automatically included in that six-year pool may also register to vote in the ratification. Registration will begin six months before the expiry date of the agreement, and extend until the anticipated date for close of negotiations. Advance notice regarding registration will be provided in plenty of time for members to get on the list.

Note that these changes do not affect the voting pool for the Stratford Addendum, nor any other agreement.

Council chose this dual approach as a way to balance greater automatic access with the increased costs of having a larger voting pool. We hope, through these changes, to provide voting access to our largest agreement to all members in good standing who may wish to vote. This change will be first applied to the ratification vote expected in 2015.

* This includes all current theatre agreements, except for the Festival Waiver and the Artists' Collective Policy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

2014 Honours Evening

After a year of hiatus, while we moved to a biennial schedule to reduce expenses, it was truly wonderful to attend the honours evening once again. This year's awards ceremony was held Monday, February 24 at the Daniels Spectrum in downtown Toronto, immediately following the National AGM. Councillors, past honorees and members from the area all came together to celebrate the 2014 slate of honours recipients.

Philip Akin (Toronto), Janet Irwin (Ottawa) and Kenneth Welsh (Toronto) were granted Life Membership in Equity, in recognition of their lengthy careers and manifold contributions to live performance. We also welcomed arts supporter Gail Asper (Manitoba) as an Honorary Member, acknowledging many years of support of the performing arts, in Winnipeg and across the country.

Former five-term Councillor Don Wright (Vancouver) received the Larry McCance Award in appreciation for his many years of dedicated service to the wester opera membership. And finally, the CAEA Award of Distinction was presented to Stage Managing the Arts (S.M.Arts), which, for the past 18 years has provided top-notch professional development to the stage management community. 
S.M.Arts Director Janelle Rainville and S.M.Arts Founder Winston Morgan were present to accept the award.

What a lovely way to wrap up the AGM this year. We spend so much time pursuing our own individual careers; it is a delight to get together and celebrate some truly special ones.

See more details, plus photos of the event, here.