ACTRA National Council unanimously passed a series of amendments to the ACTRA National By-Laws with the objective of growing the membership and offering security and stability to professional performers across the country.  

An overview of the amendments is outlined below. The transition period for the implementation of these changes will run from September 15th until February 28th, 2023. These amendments meet the needs of Canada’s thriving screen-based industry and reflect current standards and practices. To review the full text, please refer to the ACTRA National By-Laws.  

Work Permit Fees (By-Law #3, Section II, 2): Qualifying work permits towards ACTRA membership are now capped at three (3) for non-members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. A non-member will not be eligible for any further work permits without the Branch/Local Union’s permission or in accordance with an exception noted in ACTRA’s Constitution if they elect not to join ACTRA on their third qualifying permit.  

Service Charges and Surcharges (By-Law #4, 1 a) and b)): A non-member who has reached their cap of three (3) qualifying work permits and elects not to join ACTRA will be required to pay a surcharge of an additional 100 per cent (100%) of the applicable work permit fee (increased from 50% of the work permit fee) should additional work permits be approved under extraordinary circumstances or in accordance with an exception noted in ACTRA’s Constitution.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 – How will this impact performers who have previously worked on permits? 
A1 – During the transition period (September 15, 2022 and February 28, 2023): 

  • Performers seeking a qualifying work permit under the National Commercial Agreement who have previously worked on three (3) or more qualifying work permits will only be permitted to work if they become Full Members or qualify under exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Their initiation fee will be reduced by the equivalent of the last two (2) permit fees paid (not including surcharges). 
  • Performers seeking qualifying work permits under our other agreements who have previously worked on three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be invited to join as full members on their next qualifying work permit and have the equivalent of their last two applicable permit fees deducted from their full member initiation fee. If they choose not to join, there is a maximum of three permits allowable during this transition period and surcharges will apply.  

After the transition period (March 1, 2023 onwards): 

  • Performers with 3 or more qualifying work permits will be invited to join as full members. UBCP/ACTRA will not grant any further qualifying work permits.  

    Please note that additional qualifying work permits may be issued due to exceptional or extraordinary circumstances, as stipulated in our reciprocal agreements or ACTRA’s constitution. 

Q2 – After February 28, 2023, in order to work under an ACTRA agreement, will performers with 3 or more qualifying work permits be required to join as full members? 
A2 – Yes, from March 1, 2023 any performer with 3 or more qualifying work permits will be required to join as a full member.  

Q3 – Do Apprentice Members have to join as Full Members after earning 3 credits or can they remain as Apprentices? (By-Law No. 2) 
A3 – The Constitution and By-laws require that Apprentice members join the Union as Full Members upon receiving their third qualifying work permit. Branches may negotiate a payment plan to assist the performer in paying their full member initiation fee. 

Q4 – Isn’t union membership voluntary? Using intimidation to coerce someone into either joining or leaving a union is against the law. 
A4 – The Union’s bylaws are changing to protect the interests of our Union’s members. Canadian non-members have a right to join our Union in accordance with its rules. Conversely, Canadian non-members may choose not to join our Union.  That is their choice.  However, if Canadian non-members wish to enjoy the benefits that our members have fought for and which are provided under our collective agreements, they can only do so for 3 times pursuant to a permit.  It is then their choice to join or not to join the Union.   

Q5 – Will I still be able to join the union after September 15, 2022?  
A5 – Yes. UBCP/ACTRA is welcoming anyone who has been issued a qualifying work permit into the union, and will continue to do so. 

A quick reference guide to our bylaw changes

Click here for the staff directory