WASHINGTON – After unanimously voting to join IATSE Local 22 in 2020, the nineteen stagecraft professionals of the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA will finally be working under a union contract.
Founded in 1989, the Signature Theatre is a League of Resident Theatres member known for producing all its works “in-house” and having one of the largest musical commissioning projects in the country. The facility consists of two stages with respective capacities of 350 and 99 patrons.
Contract negotiations for the group were far from the conventional undertaking. Having begun the in the midst of the pandemic, workers and had to endure an industry wide shut down and an uncertain future but ultimately prevailed with a strong contract.
“As always, creating a first contract is a long process,” said prop team member Kaitlyn De Litta. “But ultimately, I believe we gained extremely valuable representation by joining Local 22, and the management at Signature seems to have a new understanding and respect for the Production staff. We are looking forward to having a more manageable and better compensated production schedule moving forward.”
Among the biggest wins for Signature workers in their first contract are:
- Health, pension, and annuity contributions
- Pay equity across all departments (including hair/makeup and wardrobe)
- Direct representation on a joint Safety committee
- Cap on forced overtime.
- 15 to 20% rate increases
“Organizing Signature is part of Local 22’s renewed commitment to helping all backstage workers gain a voice,” said IATSE Local 22 Business Agent Ryan Chavka. “This contract will help ensure that these committed craftspeople can have family sustaining careers and a voice in their workplace.”