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Actors Equity urge politicians to respect performe


Actors Equity urge politicians to respect performers

NZ Actors Equity urge politicians to respect & value our performers and support payment for a minimum wage

NZ Actors Equity is urging NZ First, United Future and the Maori Party to support the Minimum Wage and Remuneration Bill, due for its second reading this Wednesday.

The Bill, a members' bill in the name of Labour MP Darien Fenton, aims to ensure that independent and dependent contractors, including actors, are entitled to at least the same minimum wage as all other workers.

"We have many NZ productions which we are all justly proud of, but rates of pay in some productions are nothing to be proud of" says Industrial Officer of NZ Actors Equity, Teresa Brown.

"The poor pay & conditions of many actors is not commonly known, who, because they are classed as dependent or independent contractors, are expected to work for a whole lot less than employees."

"There is little understanding of the reality of what actors are paid. Unless you work on a regular TV series or high budget production pay is very poor. What predominantly motivates our members is their passion to perform not money and the reality is with a lot of theatre in particular, they are often the group lowly paid or not paid at the venue. Another peculiarity is that gaining work means they are limiting other potential work so it is very unusual to have continuous work at a good rate".

"Surely, all political parties in parliament agree that there is a basic right to a socially acceptable minimum wage for all workers," says Ms Brown.

NZ Actors Equity is calling on politicians who are currently not supporting the bill, including NZ First and United Future to get behind fairness for actors.

"It's time for politicians to show respect for a group of workers who ultimately end up being the face for NZ productions filmed locally and viewed by many local and internationals."

ENDS

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