Trio stand in Equity presidential election

West End actor Malcolm Sinclair is to stand for a second term as Equity president in the union’s forthcoming elections, against current vice-president Jean Rogers and former vice-president Dave Eager.

Sinclair, who is standing as an independent, became one of Equity’s highest profile stage actors to hold the position of president when he was elected for the two-year term in 2010.

He said he believed he had raised “the profile of the union within the profession” since taking up the post.

He added that membership has risen, and claimed that the number of working members “willing to get stuck in, by either standing for election or contributing to working parties” has increased.

“I want the union to be more powerful as it has to defend its members in incredibly difficult times. This involves streamlining and improving our democratic structures, focusing our efforts on the critical points, like funding and threatened theatre closures, the issue of low pay/no pay, the new media platforms where our work is shown and how we police them and get paid properly, and so on. That requires leadership and a profile in the profession,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rogers, who has been an Equity councillor since 1994 and vice-president since 2004, said she is being “fielded by the Representative Group”, which she described as an “honour”.

She added: “With them, I helped set up an Equity pension scheme, a new IT system, the British Equity Collecting Society, as well as the models and young members committees.”

During her 18 years with Equity, Rogers said she has campaigned for better credits for actors working in television and for gender equality, as well as better intellectual property rights. She added that she had recently voted to create a working party to look at issues relating to low-paid and unpaid work.

“That issue, adequate arts funding, the right for our members to share in the success of their work and embracing new technology are the priorities in my opinion,” she said, adding: “With my work background as a founder [member] of the National Theatre and 11 years as a soap regular, I believe my particular experience and vision will best serve members’ interests in these very particular times.”

Eager declined to comment to The Stage on his decision to stand for president.

Ballot papers will be sent out to Equity members on June 6, with voting closing on July 11. Results will be announced shortly after that date.

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