How to File a Union Project Agreement (UPA)

UPAs provide coversheets, agreement language, and rates for employers or jobs not otherwise covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements.

  1. The contract must be for work in the entertainment industry, which may include themed entertainment, hotel and restaurant venues, trade show, industrials and expositions.
  2. The contract must be with a legitimate business entity that has a Federal Employer Identification Number that appears on all coversheets and benefit reports.
  3. Checks must be business or corporate checks with the name and address of the employer imprinted. No other forms of payment will be accepted.
  4. The contract must be submitted on a Union form contract (Cover Sheet), which is available for download.
  5. The printed Cover Sheet form may not be altered in any way; to do so renders the contract void.
  6. Riders with additional terms may be attached to the Cover Sheet, so long as they do not contradict any of the terms on the Cover Sheet.
  7. Two separate checks for the Pension and Welfare funds, in the aggregate amount of 21% of the gross compensation, must be attached to the contract when submitted to the appropriate regional union office based on the employer's location. Nine percent (9%) pension should be made out to the United Scenic Artists Pension Fund and Twelve percent (12%) welfare to the IATSE National Health and Welfare Fund. Contributions are not acceptable on personal checks, and participants may not make contributions on their own behalf even when working for their own company. Employers or members with any questions should call the appropriate Union Business Representative.
  8. New Employers must submit a completed Company Data Sheet when filing their first UPA.

A note about academic institutions

Some academic institutions have difficulty signing union contracts due to state regulations or other reasons. In such cases, an agreement may be filed through the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA). U/RTA provides services as Employer of Record to academic institutions on behalf of USA 829 members. Call a Business Rep to get the details of this program.

Logged in Members may access- Suggested Contract Language & Terms - where you will find:

  1. A Checklist of important terms to include in your contract;
  2. Suggested Language for your Designer contracts; and
  3. A sample Rider for a Project Only Agreement.

Standard Design Agreements


San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA)

Please refer to the Standard Design Agreement (SDA) - Theatre - 2018-2020 above.

Southern California

Please refer to the Standard Design Agreement (SDA) - Theatre - 2018-2020 above.



Project Only Agreement

This interactive document contains the minimum promulgated language the Union will accept for work done by Designers and Artists in the entertainment industry, where no term agreement (or Collective Bargaining Agreement) is in place.