Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another Negotiatin' Season Commences

The IATSE (our mother international) goes into negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at the end of each negotiation cycle. The IA and The Animation Guild negotiated their latest contracts last year. But you will be pleased to know that a whole new season is starting up once more.

The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have agreed to enter into formal contract negotiations on Dec. 5.

The DGA and the AMPTP also said that they have also agreed that neither organization will comment further to the press until negotiations have concluded.

The DGA tapped secretary-treasurer Michael Apted and third VP Thomas Schlamme in February as co-chairs of its negotiating committee for the successor deal to its master contract. The guild’s current three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires on June 30, 2017. The DGA has over 16,000 members.

Jay D. Roth, longtime national executive director of the DGA, will be the lead negotiator for the guild.

SAG-AFTRA’s current master contract with the AMPTP also expires on June 30, 2017, while the Writers Guild of America’s deal will expire on May 1, 2017. The WGA usually goes into negotiations after DGA and SAG-AFTRA have completed their deals. ...

The way industry negotiating works is, one of the above-the-line guilds (usually the DGA, but not always) is the first into the arena and arm-wrestles the conglomerates and various production companies until a deal is reached.

And that deal lays down various markers: wage increases; pension contributions; New Media provisions. Naturally enough, the details of various contracts have differences but many of the broader brush strokes are the same. This is called pattern bargaining.

Guilds and unions end up achieving similar monetary gains, though pies are carved up in differing ways. (One group might take higher pension contributions and lesser wage hikes). It all depends on where each labor organization's priorities lie.

The Directors Guild usually goes into talks with a focused set of objectives, and often gets many of them. When the DGA's contract talks are over and the agreement between the parties is announced, we'll have some idea about the bargaining template from which every other union ... WGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE ... will be working.

And the Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE, will be among the last labor unions to march into the arena, sometime in the Spring of 2018.


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