ASHLAND, OR — Maintenance and custodial workers at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and their union, IATSE Local 154, successfully negotiated and ratified a first contract, the union announced Monday. This marks the first time in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) 130-year history that we celebrate the successful negotiation of an agreement covering only Facilities/Maintenance and Custodial workers in an American theatrical venue.
With over 400,000 attendees annually, the OSF has an 88-year history of hosting an array of performances, from classic to new works, musicals, and world premieres. While Stagehands at OSF were first organized by Local 154 in 2016 with scenic, props, and costume shop artisans to follow in 2021-2022, facilities/maintenance and custodial did not have a union contract — until now. “This agreement represents a monumental step in the recognition of an essential sector of the entertainment industry, whose workforce has long remained underappreciated and overlooked,” said IATSE International Representative Amanda Sager.
The 2.5 year agreement, which covers 14 dedicated crewmembers with between 2 and 20 years served at the festival, brings a host of benefits for Facilities/Maintenance and Custodial workers, including: annual wage increases between 3-5%, healthcare and retirement benefits, just cause and progressive discipline, on-call premium pay, extra payments if workers are not provided adequate turnaround time between workdays, language accessibility in meetings and documents, and a bilingual pay differential. The new contract was ratified unanimously with a vote of 14 to 0.
“The Alliance will not rest until all entertainment workers are given the recognition and respect they justly deserve,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb. “This is more than just a first contract; it’s a bold statement to all underrepresented workers in the industry that their voices matter and their work is valued.”
Finally, the bargaining team extended its sincere gratitude to rank-and-file member Rocky Garcia-Flores for providing crucial Spanish/English translation for all communications, ensuring inclusivity throughout the process.