Special offer for Irish Equity members!

As part of impending VOYAGE week at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, they are offering three great workshops for actors and aspiring writers – at a cost not to be believed! [Read more…]

End the gender pay gap

Because of the gender pay gap, Irish women effectively work the last 71 minutes of the day for free. We’re asking women in Ireland to take action this week by posting a #clockedout selfie on social media at 15:50 to mark the moment the pay gap kicks in.
Time to #CloseTheGap #clockedout…
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SIPTU calls for women to take action on the gender pay gap by organising in unions

SIPTU has called for women to become organised in their unions so that effective action can be taken to overcome the gender pay gap which Eurostat figures published on International Women’s Day (Wednesday, 8th March) indicate is still prevalent throughout the economy.

SIPTU National Campaigns and Equality Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Despite making up over 46% of the workforce in the EU women in general are still earning less than their male counterparts. On average women are earning 84 cent for every €1 earned by male workers. This is even worse in the arts sector where women on average earn as little as 77 cent for every €1 earned by their male colleagues.

“The Eurostat figures confirm that in general the gender pay gap is lower in the public sector as pay agreements, arrived at by collective bargaining, provide better protection for women against pay discrimination. Collective bargaining coverage is much lower in the private sector and as a result the gender pay gap is more pronounced.

“There are various reasons for the existence and size of a gender pay gap such as the preponderance of women in low pay jobs, as well as the negative consequences of career breaks or part-time work due to childbearing. The lack of affordable and accessible childcare in Ireland is a huge barrier to equality of opportunity and equality of outcome for women.”

She added: “It is a shame to say that the top three issues of concern for women in work in Ireland, which were highlighted in the Royal Commission on Labour Report of 1894, of child care, low pay and the length of the working day, are still very live issues today. It is well past time for all the stakeholders in society to reflect on this and to consider how we can deal with the continuing existence of systematic inequality for women.

“Organisations need to look at their own practices and pay for women workers. Gender audits and pay audits should be carried out to identify where women are positioned and to establish if there is a gender pay gap in existence. However, most importantly women workers need to organise themselves in to trade unions to collectively deal with the gender pay gap and inequality in the workplace.”

Irish Equity welcomes progress of Bill to return collective bargaining rights to freelance workers

SIPTU has welcomed the progress of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016, from the Seanad to Dáil Eireann. This Bill, which seeks to return collective bargaining rights to freelance workers, was debated in the Dail on Tuesday (28th February) and continues to travel through the legislative process with all party support.

Irish Equity Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin, said: “We are very pleased that this Bill, which seeks to return the right to collective bargaining for actors, freelance musicians and journalists continues to have all party support.  This important legislation is travelling a long journey, originating as it did in the Seanad and when complete will allow Irish Equity, the Musicians Union of Ireland (MUI) and the NUJ to negotiate effectively for their members and in particular for the Irish Equity members who are working as voiceover actors.  Irish Equity will continue to work with the Government and all interested parties to ensure that the Bill moves through the Select Committee stage as efficiently as possible”.

Graham Macken, MUI Organiser, said: “The exploitation of freelance musicians is nothing short of shocking. Musicians and actors are the original precarious workers and this legislation offers a unique opportunity to rectify this though effective collective bargaining”.

Irish Equity President Padraig Murray, said: “It has been 12 years now since the Competition Authority prevented our union from negotiating effectively for Irish Equity voiceover actors and this has seen a significant deterioration in the terms and conditions under which these artists work. We have been lobbying hard all this time and we gathered in the gallery of the Dáil to watch the debate with interest. We are very appreciative of the support all of the parties are giving to this Bill and we will continue to press for the enactment of the legislation.”

Lunchtime talks from the creative minds at the forefront of Irish culture, science and the arts

First Up: Creative entrepreneurs on breaking through
A series of lunchtime talks from the creative minds at the forefront of Irish culture, science and the arts.

on Wednesday, 8th March from 1.00 p.m. – 2.00 p.m.
Paccar Theatre

The unique individuals featured in the First Up series believed in an idea and did everything possible to make that idea work. They invested in their own talent and creativity in order to create a career or lifestyle suited to their vision and personal aspirations.

The speakers will tell their own stories from the beginning, how they developed their ideas and will share their plans for the future.

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray were appointed as joint Directors of the Abbey Theatre in 2016. Both came to the Abbey Theatre from the National Theatre of Scotland, Graham as Associate Director and Neil as Executive Producer. Together, they are responsible for the Abbey’s programming from 2017 onwards.

You can see the full line up of speakers here.

First Up is a collaboration based at Trinity College Dublin between Science Gallery Dublin and Trinity Long Room Hub.


Equity calls for action on “pay to play” scams

In the USA there is a labour law referred to as the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act which prevents the charging of actors for auditions even when those auditions are disguised as workshops. [Read more…]

Irish Citizen Army Charity Calendar

The calendar costs €5 and is available to purchase in Focus Ireland shops, from Liberty Hall in Dublin and online HERE. [Read more…]

Vera Morgan – A Tribute

The death occurred of performer, Vera Morgan, on October 31st last. She is survived by her husband Val Joyce, the iconic “Radio Eireann” broadcaster. She was a staunch member of Irish Actors Equity for many years, supporting the Variety Artists Section.

Early in her career she was the vocalist in The Kevin Wood Showband, extensively touring Ireland in 1959 and, was deemed to be one of the most popular and outstanding singers. She even had her own fan club with a branch in Belfast. It is said that, the members of this Belfast branch cycled to Drumshanbo, just to see her.

In the 1960’s she was the guest professional for many leading Musical Societies, “Calamity Jane” being one of her many leading roles. In 1963 she starred in Cinderella with Jack Cruise in the Olympia Theatre and, in the late 1980’s appeared in Pantomime in the old Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire.

Vera was the archetypal, thigh slapping, ‘Principal Boy’, a voice that needed no microphone!

She was as generous off-stage, as on and her sense of fun and camaraderie was infectious, being a delight to work with. Vera may not have been a household name, nationally, but she was a vital part of those early showband days and traditional Variety. It is only fitting that we acknowledge her great contribution to Irish Theatre.

Laurence Foster,
December 8th 2016

Irish Equity, the MUI and the NUJ winning for actors and musicians

equitymuiimageThis Bill which will restore the unions right to collective bargain rates for voice over actors and session musicians. Equity, the MUI and the NUJ have been fighting this battle for 12 years so today is a good day for voice over artists, musicians and freelance photographers. The Bill also deals with false self-employment for these categories for workers and will be put to the Dail as soon as possible. The bill has all party support and no further amendments are required so it will have a quick and smooth passage in Dail Eireann.
Photo: Irish Equity, MUI and NUJ members with their representatives at the Seanad on Thursday 10th November for the passing of the Competition Amendment Bill.




The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016

The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016, which seeks to return collective bargaining rights to freelance workers will be back for final stage in the Seanad on Thursday 10th November. After more than a decade it is with great satisfaction that we are now seeing progress on this issue. It can now be hoped that freelance workers will soon once again be effectively represented through collective bargaining by their union.