The TAG negotiating committee in the early morning hours of today.
We restarted the Animation Guild-AMPTP negotiations early yesterday, and stayed into the early hours of today to finish the new contract deal. There was planning and waiting and too much eating in the caucus room. There were small side bars*. There were larger side bars. And there were negotiations and a final agreement across the table in the the Big Room ...
From TAG's press release:
The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE has reached tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The labor contract, for a period from August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2015, was negotiated with animation producers represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The contract calls for two percent (2%) annual compounded wage increases. Health, pension and IAP benefits are to be provided under the terms of the IATSE Basic Agreement, on which agreement was reached in April and which is currently awaiting a ratification vote. Other provisions of the new agreement include a new storyboard revisionist classification, and changes to the talent development program and the DreamWorks Animation wage minimums.
We were in talks until 1:00 this morning. We ended up, at the finish line, with the same economic package that the Basic Agreement bargaining unit reached in April. It was not easy. The producers made clear that we weren't necessarily going to be recipients of the deal bestowed on the IA locals inside the bargining unit, and we had to argue, push and horse trade for everything we finally got.
As you can see up above, we had a sizable committee, and everybody contributed. But I would like to offer a heartfelt "thank you" to Mike Miller, IATSE International Vice President, Vice President In-Charge of the West Coast Office and Director of the Motion Picture and Television Division. Mike was in there pitching from morning to night, and really helped drive the wagon to our final result.
* "Side bars" are off-the-record discussions that take place in hallways and small rooms without windows. Sometimes they're long and other times short. Sometimes you make progress toward a contract in them, but not always.