Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the League of American Theatres and Producers today released an outline of their tentative new four-year Production Contract. The Equity Council will soon review the agreement and make a recommendation; the contract will then be sent to the Equity ratification group for vote. The deal covers the major issues discussed at the bargaining table over the course of recent negotiations, including wages and benefits, touring, safety issues, and actors' participation in show marketing and promotion. Major points of the tentative agreement are as follows:

WAGES: The new contract provides an annual wage increase of three percent over the four-year contract.

BENEFITS: Producers have agreed to meaningful increases in health fund contributions that seek to stabilize the fund for the foreseeable future.

EXPERIMENTAL TOURING PROGRAM: A new, tiered salary system provides an innovative approach to meet the economic needs of the road. The appropriate tier is utilized based on a set of criteria which includes guarantees from presenters to producers, size of company and other variables. The agreement also includes a provision that provides additional compensation for Equity members for successful engagements before a show recoups and still more compensation once a show is profitable.

PROMOTIONS: The parties have agreed to a mutually beneficial approach to encourage the use of advertising and marketing materials featuring actors across all mediums, providing more flexibility for producers in show marketing.

SAFETY: The parties have agreed to jointly develop a safety protocol that will assist producers, directors, designers and actors in the development and staging process to try to reduce the risk of injury to performers.

According to Jed Bernstein, president of the League, "This contract puts Broadway on a strong and steady footing in New York and across the country. We are confident that Broadway shows produced by League members and with Equity actors can now be more competitive in the touring market. Most importantly, we are delighted that Broadway has remained vibrant during this difficult contract negotiation." Patrick Quinn, president of AEA, said: "This contract is one that allows theater across the country to flourish and maintain the high standards that audiences expect from Equity touring productions, which include the finest theater actors and stage managers on Broadway and throughout America."