Minutes before expiration of their contract at midnight last Thursday, the Artists of Ailey reached a new four-year (plus one month) tentative agreement with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. The 34 Artists (dancers and stage managers) are represented by AGMA. The new agreement provides for substantial increases in wages, benefits and other terms. The tentative deal is subject to ratification by AGMA’s Board of Governors.
During the negotiations, the Artists of Ailey sought parity with other similarly-budgeted dance companies and industry standards. The tentative agreement substantially increases pay scales for a majority of dancers in the first year along with other improvements in various areas of the contract.
“This new agreement will result in major improvements for the Artists. I want to thank Ailey management for their commitment to all the Artists and their willingness to value and recognize these incredible dancers and stage managers,” stated Leonard Egert, National Executive Director of AGMA.
During the negotiations, which began last December, the Artists of Ailey distributed an online petition and took to social media (#ArtistsofAiley) to make their case for industry standards in wages. They also choose not to participate in a Gala dinner in Washington, D.C. It all culminated in a rally outside the AAADT studios prior to negotiations last week with several speakers (including NYS Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and NYS Senator Brad Hoylman) while the dancers and stage managers danced, chanted, and carried signs.
View the official press release here.