THE OFF-BROADWAY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATE PROGRAM
WHAT IS THE MC PROGRAM?
In recognition of the multiple barriers to union membership facing young designers, USA 829 and the Off-Broadway league have created the Off-Broadway “Membership Candidate” (MC) program. The Membership Candidate program grants eligibility for union membership to individuals who complete six Off-Broadway League assistant designer contracts or work 120 days total on an Off-Broadway League show as an assistant designer within a three-year period. Once a candidate has completed these requirements, they may apply to join the union at a greatly reduced rate (currently $425, which includes half a year of union dues.)
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
First, Off-Broadway League producers are obligated to hire Membership Candidates within the terms of the Off-Broadway CBA.
Second, MCs earn money on each Off-Broadway League assistant contract on top of their fee that goes towards building a union healthcare account. Once this account reaches a certain threshold, they can "buy in" to the USA 829 healthcare plan and thus have access to more affordable healthcare than an individual plan.
In effect, being a Membership Candidate allows a person to receive nearly all the benefits of union membership before joining.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Nothing! The MC program is free.
HOW DO I JOIN?
When hired on an Off-Broadway League show, inform your employer that you wish to join, and request that they check that box on your cover sheet. Producers should always agree to this; if they do not, contact Caitlin McConnell at the USA 829 business office straight away!