Thursday, April 19, 2012

TAG Negotiations

TAG's negotiation committee has been in talks with animation producers for the past three days for a new three-year deal ...

This morning we broke off the negotiations, as we are far apart with the producers and there didn't appear to be any simple way to bridge the yawning chasm.

Just so you know.

37 comments:

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

Sad really, I don't suppose it's going to take another generation or two for things to come back together.

Anonymous said...

So who, technically, are in these talks on the Producer's side? What are their titles at their jobs? "Executive Producer - Shorts at _________ Studios"?

Anonymous said...

So. Who are THEY? What are they saying? Who re you and what are you saying? Isnt this where they get more of our rights taken away and you let them give us a piddly more $ per hour? Is that what you call sucessful negotiations? This is where accountability is shrouded in secrecy.

Steve Hulett said...

Can't talk about the talks.

Steve Hulett said...

In any kind of detail. And I won't.

hoopcooper said...

Hang in there...and be willing to walk...that's the best bargaining chip we've got.

in the meantime.

Is there a set of points that we began with? Where is that posted? I'm sure it's a page or two back, but can you repost what we went in with for overall objectives?

hoopcooper said...

The Stagehand's Union deal is a few posts back...but I'm curious about our specific points.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ April 19, 2012 2:35:00 PM here.

I just meant in general, who are the Producers in the room? What do they do on a day-to-day basis? Are they Line Producers? Executive Producers? Heads of HR at companies? Are you talking with the heads of a Producer's Union? What has it been in the past?

Anonymous said...

Sure would be great if you had some sort of Leverage, to actually make the studios have to give you some of your requests.

Too bad thats not the case.

Honestly. What incentive do they have to give you *anything* you ask for?

hoopcooper said...

"Honestly. What incentive do they have to give you *anything* you ask for?"

That's when you stop working and start pounding the pavement. That's when you shut down Nick and Disney and Cartoon network, and hell...tell the guys at the Simpsons to go out as well! They know you will, they'll start to listen...although don't expect the Simpson's guys to go, IA members tried to run them over when they were picketing a few years ago. But that's really all you got...is the threat of a strike...which works pretty well if you're willing to go through with it.

Anonymous said...

We have a no-strike clause. We have no leverage. Yet we artists are responsible for the biggest blockbusters of the last 15 years. And we will accept less with every negotiation.

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the no-strike clause go away the minute the contract lapses (July 31)? In other words, if we don't have a contract, we don't have a no-strike clause. It is only there to keep us from striking while a contract is in force.

Steven Kaplan said...

Hey!! Look! Someone who doesn't misunderstand the No Strike, No Lockout clause! How RARE!

Anonymous said...

There is talk of a walk out? With another downturn again waiting in the wings? Great, should be about as disastrous as the WGA walking out just before Lehman Bros. evaporated. Maybe we'll get the next award for Worst Timing Ever.

Anonymous said...

There has been no "downturn" in the animation industry. Animated production represents the biggest moneymaker and profit center for the studios. If anything, times are more gangbuster than ever for animation production. Lots of animated films getting made, every studio wants to get in on the animation boom, and TONS of money is being made off of animation.

Of course, you'd never know that from the paltry wage increases the studios offer each year, and their constant claims of "poverty" (which never change, despite the year or the success they have).

Anonymous said...

It's pretty silly to talk of 'downturns' of the overall economy, on this issue. When deciding a strike, the overall economy is irrelevant, compared with the specific animation economy.

The animation economy hasn't been this strong since the early 90's. And the studios depend on US to keep it that way.

Steve Hulett said...

who are the Producers in the room?

Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Cartoon Network, WB Animation, Paramount Animation, Disney Toons, Disney TVA

Not repped in room: Film Roman-Starz, Nickelodeon, APU, some smaller shops.

Labor relations Vice Presidents and attorneys are in the room, and a few production people.

We met on Tuesday, Wednesday, and early Thursday. We narrowed on some issues, didn't narrow on others. The committee voted to walk at 10:30 yesterday, and I delivered the news to Carol Lombardini, head of the AMPTP.

And here we are on Friday. The current contract term ends July 31, 2012.

Anonymous said...

Rich Ross is gone. Yay!

hoopcooper said...

You can't worry about economic downturns when you're talking about the possibility of a walk-out. You've got to stick to what you know is right...and fair...and be willing to strike for it. The writers strike worked well...whatever the short term sacrifices were. And after watching that negotiation...let's hope the producers aren't low-balling the animators as severely as they did the WGA. But if they are...we have to be willing to put down our pencils ... just to make sure they don't CUT our pay and benefits. that's all. The easiest way to avoid a strike is to be willing to strike. Right?

Anonymous said...

"Friday, April 20, 2012 7:58:00 AM
Steve Hulett said...
who are the Producers in the room?

Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Cartoon Network, WB Animation, Paramount Animation, Disney Toons, Disney TVA


Labor relations Vice Presidents and attorneys are in the room, and a few production people."


Is there a transcription of what each asked for, as well as your replies, and what you asked for?

hoopcooper said...

Yeah, like a "pattern of demands"? What was our stance going in? More granola bars in the kitchens. Better parking. Maps to Stars homes?

What did the Cartoonists Union go in asking for? If the producers are walking out of the meeting, let's find out what they're saying "no" to in a general way...without your discussing anything that was said behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

YESYESYESYESYES!!!!!
AND, are there such recordings kept filed of PAST negotiations so we can SEE where the patterns have lied, where they started up and how we can effectively deal with them here, now and in the future. Now THAT would be an improved UNION. Another level of organizing.

WHAT DO WE HAVE AT OUR DISPOSAL FOR EXAMINING AND STUDYING WHERE WE ARE AT AND HOW WE GOT THERE?

And DONT say Tom Sitos book Drawing The Line.

Anonymous said...

^
|
|

I second that notion. And dont say "come to meetings." Im busy. Is there a document I can actually examine?

Steve Hulett said...

What did the Cartoonists Union go in asking for? If the producers are walking out of the meeting, let's find out what they're saying "no" to in a general way...without your discussing anything that was said behind closed doors.

The negotiation committe and executive board formulated proposals; ideas were discussed at the last General Membership meeting.

We agreed to ground rules, so I can't go into the substance of the negotiations, except to say that part of the proposal encompasses the pension and health benefits package of the recently concluded IA Basic Agreement.

hoopcooper said...

"The negotiation committe and executive board formulated proposals; ideas were discussed at the last General Membership meeting."

With all due respect, while that makes sense, I think what people are asking is where can they find a hard copy of the "proposals" that were "formulated."

If that was discussed in the last general meeting it must be available somewhere...or can you bullet point it here?

We all understand subsequent discussions are confidential and should be for negotiations' sake...but what did you walk in with?

That's what people are asking.

Saying "Ideas were discussed" is like saying nothing at all!

In the meantime, I'll do some snooping and see if I can't find where one finds the minutes of the meetings online. But since I'm also cooking dinner...if you've got a quick answer...like the name of the recording secretary or the location of the document that meeting produced...fire it up!

Anonymous said...

People who ask for answers of substance should get together and brings these to the floor.

'Saying "Ideas were discussed" is like saying nothing at all! '

Well, you can expect a lot of this, even at the meetings they tell us to attend. But those of us who ask such hard questions can figure out how to circumvent such nonsense. It would take a lot of perserverance, and it very well may lead to the answer "nothing really can be done", but at least we would finally know.

At this point, we dont know. They are only good at keeping us not knowing. Somebody can be better and put us in the place of being able to know. Who wants to put the bell on the cat?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the anom up top, unfortunately it seems like the producers have the leverage when we are in the worst economy the country has seen in more than 30 years.

hoopcooper said...

Anonymous #2...

remember, we're not dealing with any independent studios any more. Just toadies who ultimately work for publicly traded companies...and we're the people who make cartoons. You have a tremendous amount of leverage publicly...and the public is who owns disney, etc.

Anonymous said...

The immature chuck zimbellus is off his meds again. Someone ought to tell that hack to grow up.

hoopcooper said...

that's why I love it on the TAG blog, especially when it comes to labor talk!

Steven Hulett...if you can steer us toward the records of what you guys were taking into the meeting that would be great. And in the meantime, if I'm the guy who Anon referred to as the Hack that's off his meds, he's got that 100% right! Whooo hoo!

I know I'm late to the game, and I apologize...like so many of us...I have other jobs in other places. But if there's any way we could hear what this years basic priorities are, I think a few of us posting here would be grateful.

thanks

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em hoopcooper!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:31: there are several of us asking about this and it's not fair to Chuck to bring him up in such a way. As for me, I dont need meds, so I am thinking with a clear mind. The difference between what Chuck comes up with and us is the he states things in a very general way. We are asking for something specific. Why dont you get that? I understand that the answer that Steve is keeping from us must be kept for awhile, BUT, does that mean FOREVER?
This is the time NOW to ask for this stuff, as any other time of the contract cycle, its just too easy not to answer it. It has been asked for time and time again, but NOW is the time to ask for it and find out why we are not being answered. And when, if anytime, can we be answered.
Knowledge is Power. We can gain the power by learning about how these things are done, instead of being led like sheep.

Steve Hulett said...

Is there a transcription of what each asked for, as well as your replies, and what you asked for?

Everybody in the room takes notes. The Producers have put their proposals on the table, so have we.

We haven't put our proposals out on the internet, and won't at this point.

If you want a ballpark idea about our local negotiations, you can look at the contract recently negotiated between the IA and the AMPTP.

http://www.iatse-intl.org/news/pr_04132012.html

hoopcooper said...

Steve,
thanks for the update on the IA talks...but what we're asking for is what TAG's priorities were heading into the negotiations. In the WGA strike it was referred to as a "Pattern of Demands" that was voted on by members. Something similar must exist for TAG, since you're in there discussing Animation based issues.

But rereading your post, is it true that the basic bargaining points that you walked into the meeting with haven't been "put on the internet" for the rank and file. I can't really believe that...so I'm just trying to be clear so I and the rest of the folks who are asking can find out what the overall priorities were going into this years negotiation.

thanks
and sorry to press, but we still don't have an answer...

Steve Hulett said...

hoopcooper:

The negotiating committee and exec board would have to decide about putting our proposals out.

Any member is welcome to come to the Animation Guild and get briefed -- in detail -- about where we are. But we can't put them up here.

The main points:

1) The pension and health package recently negotiated by the IA and AMPTP.

2) The wage package.

3) Proposals about new work classifications, new unit rates, some new work rules.

Sorry I can't get more specific than that. Any member is welcome to come in for a comprehensive update. Any member can call me.

(818) 845-7500

hoopcooper said...

Steve,

Thanks. Sorry to badger you. Don't take it as criticism of the work you're doing. We were out yesterday talking about the VFX organization and how vitally important that is.

I appreciate the effort...and the post. Talk more soon about better things.

Hoop

pappy d said...

Steve;

Where are the minutes for the General Membership meeting, please?

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