The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Englert Theatre union resolves contract disputes

The historic theater signed an agreement with union workers earlier this month to avoid renegotiating contracts.
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Cody Blissett
The Englert Theatre is seen in Iowa City on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.

Unionized stagehands and theater staff at the Englert Theater in Iowa City signed an agreement with theater management to resolve a wage dispute on Aug. 18. It is the first dispute since employees unionized in fall 2022. 

A contract for unionized employees went into effect on June 1, and the first contract dispute was on June 15, said Keegan Huckfeldt, the Englert’s senior production manager. Huckfeldt serves as the theater’s primary representative regarding the union agreement and said the union had been attempting to get a contract since fall 2022.

Greg Wicklund, president of the local chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said problems arose in early June surrounding the contract.

The two parties were able to reach a memorandum of understanding over the course of this summer, which amended the original agreement. Wicklund said the memorandum was one of the best solutions for ending this dispute.

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“It was a really good thing that we were able to reach an MOU rather than some of the alternatives that could have been more contentious,” Wicklund said. “The union is hoping to foster a good relationship with the Englert Theatre. We don’t want to reopen a contract that we spent six months negotiating.”

Union concerns surrounding minimum wages have been an ongoing issue in the theater world. The Writers Guild of Hollywood is still on strike and has no intention of ending anytime soon. 

Huckfeldt said that Englert’s ultimate goal is to take care of their employees. 

“In the end, our goal is that we’re taking as best care of our employees as possible so we can keep providing the community access to art and artists access to a great place to work,” Huckfeldt said.

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About the Contributor
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
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Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.