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Actra Apprentice Progress Reports

This section will provide updates on what we are trying to do to improve the lot of Apprentice Actra members.

If you would like to let us know about your concerns, check out the Soapbox Page first. There you will find listed the various matters of concern to Apprentice Actra members. If there are other matters that you would like to bring to our attention, please send us an e-mail or the On-line Feedback Form so that your concern can be added to the list if it is appropriate.

On this page we will be letting you know the progress that is being made in our negotiations and discussions with Actra.

October 1st 2002: Following a meeting with Actra in Toronto, it was agreed that Paul Whitaker would relinquish his position as Chair in order to pursue other activities linked to Actra. John Henley was appointed as Chair in his place.

The efforts that your Executive committee have made over the past few months are, at last, bearing fruit. We anticipate that a caucus meeting will be arranged as part of an "Event Day" around the middle of November, at which time we should be in a position to provide members with a progress report and some interesting news that will affect all apprentices.

On Tuesday October 15th, probably between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Actra is arranging a "Go See" for Background Performers at the Actra offices. This will give Apprentices and Actra Cash background an opportunity for a brief face-to-face meeting with a number of Casting Directors. This is a great opportunity for you to "sell" yourself as a person instead of having to rely on your 8 x 10 b/w photo! An opportunity not to be missed!

If you attend the Go See you will need 12 of your 8 x 10s and 12 resumes (one side of a sheet only please) as these will be put into 12 separate binders and presented to all the casting directors in due course, thus providing them with a very good tool for booking background....and you DO want to be in that book, don't you?

At this stage we do not know how many background people will show up for the Go See. It may well be first-come-first-served, so be prepared.

July 5th 2002: Around the middle of May, Actra Executive members met to discuss in detail the discussion document that had been prepared by the Actra Apprentice caucus committee. This outlined many of the current concerns of Apprentice members and contained suggestions for remedying the situations. These are outlined on the "Soapbox" page.

As a result of that meeting, Actra decided to create a new sub-committee solely for the purpose of dealing with Actra Apprentice issues. On June 14th John H. met informally with members of the sub-committee to meet those involved, and we discussed briefly some of the concerns.

On July 5th four members of the Actra Executive held another meeting to go over our document in order to decide into whose areas the various concerns fell. Although we will be dealing with a sub-committee, the members are not in a position to provide solutions for all of our concerns. They are the group with whom we shall be working, and they, in turn, will be enlisting the aid of other Actra committees who specialise in areas into which our concerns might fall.

It is gratifying to see that some progress has been made and, as one of the Actra executive put it: "Please be patient with us -- this is a big boat that turns slowly."

Allowing for particpants' holidays, we expect the Apprentice Caucus Committee members to be holding their first meeting with the new sub committee created by Actra, within the next two weeks. Any further developments will be posted here.

May 2002: Since the initial Caucus meeting in January 2002, your three committee members have been working very hard behind the scenes to bring to the attention of the Actra board, the inequities that we are currently facing.

We have fielded a variety of phone calls, e-mails and general discussions with other Apprentices who are concerned, quite rightly, with a significant drop in the volume of work since fall last year. We have spent many hours identifying the difficulties that face us, and working on possible resolutions.

For Actra to arrange a general meeting of Apprentices is a very expensive undertaking. This involves a major mail-out, paper, envelopes, stamps, labour and the hire of a hall for the meeting. We could discuss and vote on various resolutions only to find that for practical or constitutional reasons, the solutions we are suggesting might not fly.

Rather than have Actra incur unnecessary costs at this stage we have been working with the Actra board, the members of whom are taking our concerns very seriously. They held an Executive meeting in May to discuss our suggestions and, following that, decided to form a sub-committee for the sole purpose of trying to resolve the difficulties we all face.

For a list of the concerns we have raised and the solutions we have suggested can be seen on the Soapbox Page .

We, as representatives of the Actra Apprentice Caucus, will be part of this committee and we look forward to reporting back to members on future developments. Progress reports will be posted here.

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