Demand a fair pay rise for your stage work.

Tell Live Performance Australia how the increasing cost of living and the impact of lockdowns continues to be deeply felt by performers. It’s time for a fair pay rise and many other long overdue improvements to your conditions.Your response will be kept anonymous.

My message to LPA...


The Performers' Collective Agreement 2017 (the 'PCA') is the overarching document that sets out all pay and conditions for live performance. MEAA Equity members, as a collective, negotiate the terms of this Agreement with Live Performance Australia.This negotiation process can encompass a range of issues - from rates of pay, per diems, and other payments, to conditions around safety, wellbeing, and diversity.

You can access the full PCA here.
You can access the summary PCA here.

Below are the key elements of the current PCA:

ItemCurrent PCA
Annual LeavePerformers accrue 4 weeks of annual leave each year. Performers may apply for annual leave at any time, and whether it is approved or not will be subject to a variety of factors, such as who else is on leave. Producers may send performers on annual leave in very limited circumstance after six months of employment. After a year of employment, producers may direct employees to take annual leave at any time with reasonable notice.
Hours of WorkHours of work are up to a maximum of 38 hours per week, except during rehearsal weeks when 40 hours may be worked or tech week when 48 hours may be worked. These extra hours are averaged over the course of the year (or your employment), and any additional hours worked over 38 after averaging must be paid at overtime. Hours can be worked between 9am (8am for publicity and travel) and midnight, but no more than 8 hours in one day (or overtime is payable). The minimum time to be credited to an employee for each whole time performance/dress rehearsal is 2.5 hours. The minimum time to be credited to an employee for each rehearsal or any extra session such as wardrobe or photo calls is 2 hours.
Lay OffIf you are engaged on one contract, producers can access up to 3 weeks for every 26 weeks that you are employed as ‘lay-off’. This means they can put you on rehearsal salary for this period if there is, for example, a break between cities. Once the producer has utilised lay-off they then have to pay your performance salary again, even if the show is still on a break.
Number of PerformancesThe maximum number of performances that the Total Negotiated Weekly Rate includes is: 8 - for substantial whole time performances; or 12 - for performances up to one hour duration.
OvertimeOvertime is paid as time and a half for the first two hours and double time for each hour after that provided that when a performer’s weekly (or casual) Negotiated Rate of Pay is greater than 133.33% of the minimum rate, the Overtime Rate will be capped at 133.33% of the performer’s Negotiated Rate of Pay.
Public HolidaysAny employee who works Good Friday or Christmas Day is paid an extra one quarter of his or her weekly wage. Any employee who works any other public holiday is entitled to an extra amount of one sixth of his or her Negotiated weekly wage. In the event that work is not performed on a public holiday, the holiday will be regarded as a day that one of the full-time performances or two of the one hour performances has occurred.
Recording of ProductionsThere are no ‘standard rates’ for recording of productions. Appropriate contracting arrangements must be negotiated between producers, casts and Equity. It is of vital importance that performers do not stand in front of a camera or agree to have their voice recorded until they have spoken with Equity and an appropriate agreement has been entered into which takes into account what usage is being proposed, for how long, and in what territories. Archival recording is permitted under the PCA, as is limited recording for publicity purposes.
Rest breaksNo employee will be required to work more than 4 hours without a meal break of one hour except with the agreement of the majority of the cast when the break may be extended to 5 hours. If this break is after 4pm it must be a break of 1.5 hours. These meal breaks are unpaid.

There shall be a break of not less than 45min clear of dressing, undressing, making up or taking off make up between the conclusion of one performance and the commencement of another on the same day.

If there is a break of less than 2 hours between two performances, the employer will provide the employee with a satisfactory meal or pay for a meal.

A break of 11 clear hours between the end of one day and the commencement of another will be observed, except that on one day each week it may be reduced to 10 clear hours for publicity calls or for travel by air. The minimum break between one full rehearsal and another full rehearsal/performance is 1.5hours.
School toursSome different provisions apply to schools tours, please call MEAA Member Central for further information.
Sick leavePerformers receive 10 days of sick leave upon commencement of a contract, and accrue a further 10 during the first year of employment. In each subsequent year, performers accrue 15 days. Sick leave carries over from year to year. Performers are also entitled to carers’ leave.
Special AttendancePrior to the commencement of employment, any special attendance for the purposes of wardrobe still photo shoots or any other matter in connection with the employer’s business will be paid at the Casual Rehearsal Rate with a minimum call of two hours, plus any travel time. Travel costs are reimbursed.
SuperannuationThe Superannuation rate under the PCA is 10.5%. You should be receiving 10.5% Superannuation on top of your wage and this should be paid into your nominated Superannuation fund.
TerminationEngaged for run of the play, and employer advises employee of conclusion of tour, season or run – 3 weeks’ notice (or 2 weeks’ notice if the run of the play has been 5 weeks or less).

Engaged for run of play, and performer has been employed for 14 months from his/her opening performances – only the employee can give notice (4 weeks). The employer cannot terminate the employee’s employment without justification.

Failure to present or produce the play: 4 weeks’ notice.
TravellingIf you are required to travel for work you must be provided with suitable accommodation (or appropriate financial remuneration which varies depending on what city you are in and whether you elect not to accept producer accommodation or the producer elects not to provide accommodation), and transport. Meals and incidentals are also payable (see travel allowances).

The suitable accommodation guidelines set out that accommodation provided by producers must:

• Be between 3 and 4 star;
• Have private bathroom facilities;
• Have tea and coffee making facilities and a refrigerator;
• Be within 15 kms of the venue;
• Be serviced;
• Not be shared except in specific circumstances.
Work on 7th day in a weekFor any work on the seventh day in a week, the employee will be paid an additional amount equivalent to one third of the weekly rate.
Work on SundaysEmployees can be contracted to work on Sundays and their rate of pay will be higher (please see rates section). If not contracted to work on a Sunday, but required to travel on a Sunday (or any other day off), you will be paid one twelfth of the weekly wage.


Below is a summary of the MEAA claims that have discussed so far.
For the full list of claims, please download our Log of Claims

NameSummary of MEAA ClaimInitial LPA ResponseMEAA Update (March)LPA Response (March)
WagesA 4.6% increase to base wages from 1 January 2023 be implemented to reflect increased cost of living and lack of PCA increases since 2017.

Link ongoing minimum rates of pay to:
• the increase determined by the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review; or,
• yearly CPI increases.
LPA agreed to apply 4.6% increase to contracts formed after 1 January 2023. This is now in effect.

LPA members do not agree to link increases to CPI or the FWC annual wage review.

LPA offers a set 3% wage rise on each of 1 July 2023, 1 July 2024 and 1 July 2025.
Members confirm they are seeking a real increase to their base wages, and that any increase will not be absorbed by current margins.LPA members holding firm that any increase may be absorbed by current margins.

No change to the offer of 3% yearly increases in each of 1 July 2023, 1 July 2024 and 1 July 2025.
SuperSuper be paid at 1% above the super guarantee rate.No agreement. Redraft clause to confirm the payment of super at the statutory guarantee rate.  
Self-tape guidelinesInclusion of the MEAA best practice self-tape guidelines within the PCAAgreement to include a reference to the audition guidelines that provides that:
• Self-tapes to be securely stored by the Producer; and,
• If the performer agrees the producer can use self-tapes for casting purposes;

Agreement to discuss the guidelines after the PCA discussions have concluded. No agreement to include the MEAA guidelines within the PCA itself.
General audition guidelinesUpdate of audition processes to ensure increased access and an equitable process.LPA is open to discussing the existing guidelines at Schedule 2 of the PCA.  
Multiple contractsProducers not to use or encourage members to use multiple separate contracts for the same production.

Performers will not be required to sign multiple contracts as a condition of employment.

Incorporate terms regarding ‘run of play with possible extension’ as per the Michael Cassel Group EBA (clauses 16.5 – 16.13).
Members do not use separate multiple contracts to avoid employee entitlements and therefore no term is necessary.

Performers are not forced to sign ‘multiple contracts’ and therefore no term is necessary.

LPA will agree to include terms providing for the continuation or termination of employment at 14 months.
MEAA members request re-consideration for discussions on multiple contracts. Suggestions from MEAA members include:

1. Built in bonuses for signing multiple contracts;

2. Use of betterment clauses;

3. Ability to re-negotiate pay rates for later contracts;

4. On hold payments for period between contracts;

5. Ability to provide notice during overarching engagement period.
LPA members to consider suggestions made by MEAA members.
ShoesInclude obligations on the production to consult with performers regarding their shoe requirements and to provide additional shoes when requested by the performer.LPA members do not agree to including additional terms in the PCA regarding shoes.Specific provisions regarding shoes continue to be an important safety matter for MEAA members and request that LPA reconsider their refusal to include within the PCA.LPA members confirm they will not agree to include specific terms in the PCA about shoes – general OHS obligations are sufficient.
Mental Health Wellbeing and SupportMental health and wellbeing resources provided in inductions / welcome packs.

Access to health practitioners (mental health first aid, registered psychologist, physio).
LPA open to discuss the inclusion of a Health and Wellbeing clause acknowledging the mental and physical health challenges of performers.  
Intimacy GuidelinesMEAA intimacy guidelines to be included as part of the PCA.LPA does not agree to include intimacy guidelines within the PCA.MEAA asked whether LPA members would agree to a reference that incorporates intimacy guidelines into the PCA. The intimacy guidelines could be amended to be specific to live performance.LPA members may agree to include a reference to intimacy guidelines within the PCA. Will consider further and revert to MEAA.
Anti-racism trainingProvision for mandatory inclusivity and anti-racism training for cast, management and creatives during early stages on rehearsal.LPA does not agree to include mandates for training in the PCA.MEAA members consider anti-racism training for all company members/staff (not just actors) to be an integral safety consideration. This will reduce need for urgent and retrospective training when issues do arise in workplaces.LPA members agreed to update the PCA clause on anti-discrimination but do not agree to commit to mandatory training. LPA members are subject to LPA codes of conduct and training and do not want to confuse members with multiple layers of obligations.
Cultural Leave10 days paid cultural and ceremonial leave per annum (non-cumulative).LPA members are prepared to allow performers to take annual leave for cultural matters.MEAA members do not think it’s appropriate for annual leave to be utilised for cultural matters – particularly when annual leave can be hard to arrange already.LPA to return with more information.
Cultural ConsultantsEngagement of cultural consultants from initial stages of a project, with availability on site during the production.LPA agrees to a clause regarding the engagement of cultural consultants at times deemed necessary.  
9-show weeksRestrict scheduling of 9 show weeks to:
• Four within a calendar year (per production);
• An increase to 5 per year on consultation with cast;
• No more than 7 shows scheduled in week following a 9-show week;
• No rehearsals scheduled in 9-show week;
• An immediate day off following a 9-show week, next day with a late start and no rehearsal
LPA’s counter-proposal:
• Six, 9-show weeks per year;
• An immediate day off after a 9-show week;
• No rehearsals scheduled in a 9-show week, with an exception for unscheduled rehearsal.

LPA members to not agree to limit the week following a 9-show week to 7 shows in a week.
MEAA members request further information about the application of six 9-show weeks, particularly for productions with shorter seasons.

Members also request further info regarding “unscheduled rehearsals”.
LPA to revert with more information.
OvertimeHours of work including overtime shall not exceed 120 hours across any fortnight.LPA agrees to limit hours of work to 128 hours across a fortnight.  
Social media and publicitySet out process for employee participation in promotion on their personal social media page and use of their image for publicity purposes.LPA agrees to a clause regarding social media “takeovers”:
• Requests and agreement must be in writing;
• Performer can decline request;
• Counted as time worked.

LPA proposes a uniform clause that can be used for all productions which includes modern promotional mediums (digital billboards, social media etc).
Annual leaveUpdate so that NES compliant, include a preamble regarding intention of annual leave.

Allow for 3 flexible days a year to be used by performer for personal reasons.
LPA proposes that (in limited circumstances) annual leave be used between productions to limit the use of multiple productions, with:
• notice of at least 4 weeks’;
• the cast could be directed to take annual leave at the close of a production either:
○ once if at the point when the production ends; or,
○ twice if there are to be 3 production locations and 2 run of plays which both require a non-working period before the next production begins.

LPA proposes the requirement to recredit leave if a production closes with 6 weeks be removed from the PCA as it has the effect of paying annual leave twice.
Personal / carer’s leaveAmend personal/carer’s leave clause to ensure it is NES compliant and makes provisions for COVID-19 leave.LPA proposes sick leave accrue over course of employment rather than being granted on commencement.  
Family and domestic violence leave20 days paid domestic violence leave (per annum, non-cumulative).Agree to 10 days paid (non-cumulative).  
Musical instrumentsAllowance paid when performer required to play a musical instrument live, in addition to other performance duties.LPA agrees to proposal, but only where the instrument is played for more than 60 continuous seconds.  
ConsultationA consultative and response committee be established between LPA and MEAA to meet as needs (no less than bi-annually).LPA does not consider this necessary to include in PCA, but are happy to engage with this commencing in 2023.  
Trade Union LeavePaid trade union leave to be provided to accredited union delegates for union business and training,LPA agrees to allow for annual leave to be used for trade union training.  

Have your say


NameLPA ClaimRecent MEAA ResponseMarch LPA Response
Digital RightsLPA members wish to modernise the PCA by including a digital capture and recording rights agreement within this current PCA.While MEAA members understand the need for a template digital and recording rights agreement, the preference is to keep the negotiations separate to these PCA discussions and suggest they are held after these PCA negotiations conclude.The Digital Recording Rights Agreement and its inclusion in the next PCA is of such importance that if it is not included, LPA may reconsider the current wage offer and the inclusion of a reference to intimacy guidelines within the PCA.
Stand downInclude clause to clarify stand-down process. Employer should not be penalised for matters outside their reasonable control, such as COVID-19.  
Lay-offNew clause which allows:

1. lay-off of employees at the rehearsal rate for a maximum of 3 weeks between each transfer of production from one venue/theatre to another;

2. lay-off to occur at any time in each 6-month period if the production is expected to run for 6 months (ie – lay-off weeks are not accrued);

3. employees to be called at any time during lay-off for rehearsal, publicity, marketing.
MEAA members request further information on how this would work if a production closes earlier than it’s expected run within a 6 month period.

Would LPA members agree to a back-payment in this situation?
LPA to revert with more information.
Hours of Work and Time OffAdd new cause that allows for no more than 48 hours of work per week in the week immediately prior to first opening night/public performance in any city (including when transferring from one city to another).

Hours of work amended to be between 7am and midnight, provided there are 11 clear hours between one day and the next.
AccommodationAmend clause to expressly include studio or one-bedroom accommodation.  
Work sessionsNew performance structure be created to accommodate

1. immersive style theatre; and,

2. very short performances of 30 minutes or less (eg – children’s productions).
MEAA members opens to having discussions on a new performance structure. Suggest that “work sessions” is too broad – structure should apply to performances only and not be used for rehearsals or other work covered by PCA.LPA to provide more detail, including more specific wording.

LPA clarified that when two very short performances are performed on a Sunday under this structure – the penalty rate for performing two whole time performances on a Sunday would not apply.
Maximum number of performancesMaximum number of performances altered depending on length of the production:

1. performance over 90 mins: 8 per week;

2. performance between 60 and 90 mins: 10 per week;

3. performances under 60 mins: 12 per week.
MEAA members are generally concerned about fatigue and increasing number of maximum performances . fatigue not just based on length of the performance but the style and format of the show. Members not prepared to increase number of maximum performances. 

Have your say


For more information or to get involved in the campaign please contact us at [email protected] or use the form below:

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