International Alliance of Theatrical Employes (IATSE) Local 48 ratified a contract in March with the University of Akron covering twenty stage employees of the university.
The ratification vote of the 20-member union was unanimous. The new contract covers thirteen members of the costume shop, six theater technicians and the stage technical specialist.
Organizing the stage workers was a multi-year effort. The union filed a petition with the Ohio State Employment Relations Board that led to a state certified election eventually agreed to by the university. At the September 2004 election, the vote for union representation was unanimous.
Negotiations were somewhat protracted because the university was in negotiations with the university faculty. The first-time contract is for a three-year term through September 2009. The wage package is retroactive to July 2005 and future wage increases in each of the next three years will be in line with the university’s staff.
Local 48 was assisted in the organizing drive and the negotiations by International Representatives Michael David and Thomas J. Kiousis, Jr. and IATSE Mid-West Counsel Dale W. Short. IATSE Local 48 represents the stage employees of Akron, Canton, Alliance and Mansfield, Ohio.