New contract including anti-harassment measures approved by B.C. actors

Ninety-four per cent of Union of B.C. Performers members voted in favour of the three-year contract

The latest contract covering performers in B.C. contains what the actors’ union says is precedent-setting language against sexual harassment.

Members of the Union of B.C. Performers voted strongly in favour of the deal, which reflects the powerful social media movement that sprang up following sexual assault and harassment allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

A news release from the union says the pact includes wording that prohibits auditions or meetings in hotels or private residences where the performer is alone with a representative of production, such as a director or producer.

The union says the new sexual harassment language in the B.C. contract represents the most up-to-date provisions negotiated into any performer collective agreement.

Ninety-four per cent of Union of B.C. Performers members voted in favour of the three-year contract, which takes effect in April 2018 and includes a nine per cent wage increase over the life of the deal.

Union president Alvin Sanders says the anti-harassment wording is a significant first step.

“With this agreement, we’ve raised the bar when it comes to protecting performers from sexual harassment,” he said in the release.

Sanders added the contract ensures performers will be fairly compensated productions made for digital platforms and it includes better protection for performers who experience fatigue at the end of their work day.

“Riverdale” star K.J. Apa, who plays Archie in the Warner Bros. production being shot in Vancouver, was injured in a crash in September when he apparently fell asleep while driving home from a late-night shoot.

The Union of British Columbia Performers is an autonomous branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, a 22,000-member national organization of professional performers working in English-language recorded media.

The contract, which expires in 2021, was negotiated with the Canadian affiliates of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Canadian Media Producers Association — BC Producers Branch.

The Canadian Press

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