Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Secret Lab Negotiations

And what is "The Secret Lab"? It was, six years ago, Disney's in-house, live action effects studio that was part of Disney Feature Animation... The Secret Lab came about in '99 when DreamQuest -- a live-action effects house purchased by Disney -- was merged with Disney Feature Animation. Today, that effects wing of the Mouse House is pretty much gone, but Disney Feature Animation and the video feature studio called Disney Toons remain under the IATSE contract that was set up for The Secret Lab and called -- for want of a better name -- "The TSL Agreement." The agreement covers most of the production employees at Disney Feature and Toons. It was renegotiated in 2003 and is up for negotiation again this year. Word has reached us that the negotiations are set to take place in the second week of July. Just thought you'd want to know...


Anonymous said...

Steve, if you wouldn't mind--what are the major differences in the TSL contract vs. all the other studios' agreements?
I'm pretty sure I've worked under this one and not known myself!

Steve Hulett said...

My pleasure.

The Secret Lab Agreement is very similar to the 839 agreement (which was negotiated in March -- see posts below.)

The similarities include overtime language, dismissal pay language (though there are now no salary caps for dismissal pay for TSL; the cap is 150% of scale for the 839 agreement.)

The major difference is there are far fewer job classifications in the TSL agreement, though the rates it has track the 839 wages.

The benefit package (health and pension) are identical. And like the 839 agreement, there is an optional 401(k) Plan that employees working under the TSL contract can participate in.

The TSL contract includes employees under the Cinematographers Guild (Local 600) and the Editors Guild (Local 700), although most are repped by the Animation Guild. Members of 600 and 700 are allowed to participate in the 401(k) plan. The TSL agreement, along with the Sony Pictures Animation contract, are the only IA agreements where that can happen.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

under the TSL agreement we only recieve 5 sick days and the non union feature animation employees get 10 sick days. How can we get 10 sick days?

Kevin Koch said...

Get the support of your fellow TSL employees and bargain for it at the upcoming negotiation.

I know a couple of months ago there was a TSL employee Yahoo group that was being set up to discuss and clarify bargaining issues. This was an internal thing, and the Guild wasn't invited to participate in that, but you might check around to see if that's still ongoing and try to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it the job of the union to negotiate the best deal possible for us? why should we have to rally in order for our benifits to equal what regular employees already recieve? From our perspective we pay to belong to a union in orderto recieve less than non union employees recieve.

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