Cast members of Leeds's Emmerdale get union pay deal while filming is suspended

Cast members of Leeds-based soap Emmerdale have agreed a pay deal for the next three months after union negotiations.

The Equity union has secured financial support for contracted actors working in continuing dramas following the "complete shutdown of production".

This includes shows such as Holby, Casualty, Eastenders, Doctors, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.

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Emmerdale on Kirkstall Road in Leeds.

It continued: "This unprecedented situation is one to which the terms of the collective agreements with the broadcasters and PACT (the employers’ negotiating group) were not designed to address.

"Therefore, Equity has been working with all of our negotiating partners to arrive at an agreement around emergency payments that can be made to artists to provide a level of financial support for the short and medium term until production can resume."

So far, Equity has negotiated payments with the employers so that regular cast members under contract on those programmes receive a monthly payment during the period when filming is suspended.

Emmerdale, which is made at ITV's Kirkstall Road base in Leeds, suspended filming last month and the number of episodes on air per week has dropped to three.

The monthly payments "meet or come very close to the benchmark set by the government with the schemes announced for employed and self-employed workers", says the union.

Equity also said that it should be noted that artists’ pay across the various productions is "a wide range and many are not paid significant sums".

John Barclay, head of recorded media at Equity said: "By securing financial protection for artists now, we go some way towards safeguarding a vibrant future for the industry when this crisis is behind us and production can resume.

"I want to give a huge thank you to the Equity deps on the shows and Equity staff for their hard work and resilience during this challenging time.”

An ITV spokesperson said: "Coronation Street and Emmerdale have reached an agreement with Equity to provide financial security for regular cast members for the next three months.

"The specific details of this agreement will remain private as this is a contractual matter."