A particularity in dance sector collective agreement negotiations is that companies are not represented by a producers association. This particularity means that a collective agreement is negotiated by each company rather than only one for the whole dance sector.
In 2011, 4 companies requested that UDA renew their respective collective agreements at the same negotiating table. The companies are the following: Sylvain Émard danse, Compagnie Flak, Daniel Léveillé, nouvelle danse, Carré des Lombes. During a dance sector assembly, dancers accepted this proposal with enthusiasm since it allowed them to normalize working conditions and remuneration.
A representative dancers committee from those companies was composed of:
- Nathalie Blanchet
- Mathieu Campeau
- Pierre-Marc Ouellette
- Lauren Semeschuk
The merging of the 4 collective agreements into one was difficult. We congratulate the dancers work committee for this negotiation which was done under many constraints:
- 4 spokespeople at the negotiating table;
- the dancers’ issues;
- the companies’ issues;
- each party’s desire to take the best of each of the collective agreements;
- the dancers’ commitment to previously acquired rights.
Accordingly, the best for the companies are not always reconcilable with what the dancers considered to be the best for them. Throughout the negotiations, difficult discussions between the parties took place to the defend labor relations at stake.
The naming of a mediator in spring 2014 constituted a positive turning point in the negotiations. In fact, the mediator was of great help, serving as an engine for the parties involved.
We then separated the renewal into topics or issues:
- repeat performance
- health and security
- miscellaneous (preamble, representatives)
- grievance and final provisions
- image rights
- touring, visa, insurance and transportation
- Dancers from outside Montreal
- Scale and living expenses
After a year of negotiating under the mediator’s vigilant eyes, and thanks to the dancers’ great skill and generosity, we came to an agreement in principle concerning the above-mentioned topics. Difficult choices had to be made, all the while respecting the mandate given us. I invite you to consult the outcome of our work by clicking on the agreement.
This agreement in principle was approved last June by the dancers assembly. It is valid for 5 years and has been in effect since September 1, and will be so until August 31. 2020.
The companies - Sylvain Émard danse; Daniel Léveillé, nouvelle danse and Carré des Lombes came to sign one after the other in September. Still, a formal signing was held at the beginning of October in the presence of representatives of Company Flak (José Navas, artistic director and choreographer, and Maxime Pontbriand, administrative director) and UDA representatives (Sophie Prégent, president, and Marie-Claude Arpin, general secretary).