pay and compensation

Direct Deposit:  The only way to get paid at this time is through direct deposit.  If you have a change in address or a change in banking, you must call the office and speak to the payroll specialist for Stagehands Inc or whomever you’ve worked for that completes their own payroll system.  (see who pays us below)

How Often: We are paid by a variety of businesses and varies from weekly to biweekly.  

Who pays us: Stagehands Inc is the main payroll provider that is directly linked to IATSE Local 18.  They cover payroll for Milwaukee World Festival, Wisconsin Center District (Miller High Life Theatre, Panther Arena, Convention Center), Milwaukee Symphony, all local production companies, and businesses that we do not have a standing work agreement.  Whereas Fiserv Forum, Marcus Performing Arts Center, The Pabst, State Fair, Riverside, Milwaukee Ballet, and the Milwaukee Rep have their own payroll system.  This is not an exhaustive list, but are the most common employers.

All businesses that do their own payroll will ask for your I9 verification and direct deposit information.  If it is your first time at one of these locations, always bring these documents with you so that you can get paid!

Referral Fees:  We have a 5% referral fee for all work through the hiring hall.  The majority of our employers deduct this already.  However, The Milwaukee Ballet, State Fair, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre do not deduct referral fees!  This means that if you work for them and then receive a bill in the mail, you must pay this promptly.  If you do not submit a payment, money will be deducted from future paychecks serviced through Stagehands Inc. People with outstanding bills will be sent notices and may be terminated and will no longer receive work opportunities.

Health and Welfare: There are employer contributions made every time you work put into these funds.  After the first time you work, you are enrolled into our pension plan and will start to get quarterly statements.  Money going into health insurance helps control the price for everyone enrolled.  You become eligible if you make $35,000 annually as a Stagehand.  The payroll and benefits manager at Stagehands Inc will notify you if you qualify for health insurance coverage.

Pay Rates:  The hourly wage is different at every venue and employer.  Ask your Steward on the job if you want to know what rate is for that job.  Because our contracts with businesses vary on length and are rolling when they expire and renew, rates can not be listed or published.  Some of the basic rules across all employers are a 4 hour minimum and time and a half between midnight and 8am.  Rates are the same across departments except rigging (ie, an electrician has the same rate as a carpenter).

The Union Behind The Curtain At the Shows You Love