Monday, November 10, 2008

Da Negotiations -- Day One

Studio labor reps and the unionists who make up the different unions and guilds of the IATSE gather this afternoon for the first day of the reinstituted talks for the IA Basic Agreement.

We had one big meet in the big conference room, where both sides gave short speeches about truth, justice and Life in America. (In other words, I'm not going to say much about it.)

The big part of my day was reading through printouts and projections for the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.

I found out (again) how much money is in it (billions), and how much money will most likely be in it if investment income totals 0% in 2008, or -10%, or -20%. Each scenario produces a different dollar total, and a diferent amount of bucks that will have to be found to keep the Pension and Health Plans solvent.

The numbers are detailed, and boring, and I won't bore you with them. We're in the early stages of clawing our way to an agreement, so they wouldn't mean much anyway. Nobody knows what that fabled "final package" is going to look like at this point.

We go back into negotiations tomorrow morning.

Fun fact: The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires Taft Hartley Pension Plans to stay in the "Green Zone" (80% or more of all pension obligations must be funded by assets in the plan.)

If a pension plan falls below the magical 80% threshhold into the horrid Yellow Zone, the plan must inform its participants, and take action to climb back into the Green.

I'm simplifying a bit, but you get the idea.


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