Thursday, February 23, 2006

The IATSE negotiations

The first part of December 2005, the IATSE and AMPTP (that’s the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) met at the Alliance’s flossy Encino Headquarters to hammer out a new three-year contract. Lots of meetings in the big conference room with all parties from the studios and various unions, lots of small meetings (called “sidebars”) with a smaller, select group in the “fish bowl” (the small conference room with a floor-to-ceiling window fronting a hallway.) The way negotiations go are: Substance and posturing in the Big Meetings, substance and more substance in the small meetings. In sidebar, most theatrics are dispensed with – at least the sidebars I’ve been involved in. At the end of four days, agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement was reached, with almost unanimous approval from the Business Representatives of the various unions. (Local 44’s Ronnie Cunningham voted against, much to the unhappiness of IATSE President Tom Short.) Now the ballots have been mailed to the IA membership of twenty-something unions, and the campaign to ratify the pact is going on in earnest. The Cinematographers (Local 600) have come out against the new contract, and there is tension in the air. Me, I think the contract will be approved by 72-79% of the total West Coast IATSE membership. We’ll see how right I am. Election results due in early March.


Kevin Koch said...

Note that the IATSE negotiations Steve was writing about aren't the same as our Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations that will happen in March.

Steve was referring to the 'Basic Agreement' negotiations. TAG isn't in the Basic Agreement, though changes minimum salaries, health plan, and pension plan in the Basic Agreement ususally dictate similar changes to our CBA. Confusing, huh?

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