Apprentice Preference of Engagement

If full members are taking the majority of the first 25 background actor spots because of the Preference of Engagement clause, then the same clause should apply to Apprentices being offered preference over Yellow Vouchered extras, except where special skills are required and there are no Apprentices available to provide those skills.

Yellow vouchers are allegedly issued because the "right" people cannot be found from among the several thousand full and apprentice members, or they are for special skills people (e.g. basket ball team, marching band etc.) who are not union members.

With all the Actra members currently short of work, one would imagine there would be such a large pool of talent that vouchers would need to be issued only on rare occasions. It was mentioned that some non union people were recently vouchered to play the part of Israeli soldiers. Are we that short of talent that those parts could not be filled through normal Apprentices or full Actra members?

PROGRESS REPORT posted July 17th 2003

With the elimination of the Apprentice category, as is being proposed by the new Membership Committee, the preference of engagement will not apply any more. With just two classes, Full member and Associate Member, there will be no opportunity for Full Members or agents to exercise preference of engagement over Apprentices, because they won't exist.

I raised the subject of Yellow vouchers with a steward and was advised that there has to be a very good reason for a Yellow Voucher to be sanctioned. They cannot be issued on a whim and they have to be approved by the steward assigned to that particular movie.

The proposed revamp of the Membership structure should eliminate many of the inequities currently faced by Apprentice members, and although the end result of the changes might not suit everyone, Actra is doing its best to set up an arrangement that will enable as many Apprentices as possible to attain full membership .... but don't expect it to be handed to you on a plate!

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