Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Per trades, there is opposition sprouting up against the recently negotiated Basic Agreement:
Public opposition is emerging to the tentative deal reached between IATSE and the AMPTP two weeks ago – which was unanimously endorsed by the union’s negotiating committee – but it’s impossible to gauge how widespread that position is. The unanimous endorsement, coupled with the union’s local by local, winner take all voting system, is likely to make defeating the deal an uphill slog for opponents.

In an email to The Hollywood Reporter, opponents of the deal asserted that “many within the IA Membership . . . are VERY unhappy with the Tentative Agreement.” However, in response to a question from THR, the email’s author acknowledged that “as to an actual number, we don't have that data.”

Another email, citing comments on an opposition Facebook group, described the anti-deal constituency as “an overwhelming majority.” A third email referred to “unbridled anger.” Comments on the Facebook group, which has over 3,200 members, reflect both opposition and support for the deal. ...

There's no agreement that somebody somewhere wouldn't find wanting.

For decades, the normal wage bumps inside labor contracts was 3%, 3%, 3%. But during the last three years? Not so much. Every union and guild has settled for 2% wage increases that barely keep up with inflation.

There are other issues at play, however. Over the last three years the funding levels of the pension and health funds of entertainment unions have suffered. Deficits became the norm; pushing back the red ink became a top priority for labor. (The health and pension plans go down, everybody is in big trouble.)

This was particularly true for the IATSE during the negotiation of the latest Basic Agreement. Faced with a projected $350 million funding gap inside the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan, the producers insisted on premium payments from Plan participants. The fact that the premiums ultimately agreed to were $0 for singles, $25 for married couples and $50 for families is an achievement, any way you slice it.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers was also after a lot of concessions from local unions: staffing changes, interchangeability, wage breaks. For the most part, the producers' wish list was beaten back, and the I.A.'s main goal was accomplished. Closing the $350 million funding gap got done, and participants still have a comprehensive health plan that costs them very little.*

* The Animation Guild is still arm wrestling with the cartoon producers over a new agreement.


hoopcooper said...

just a quick clarification. Although TAG is still in negotiations with AMPTP, these IA numbers and overall contract will apply to us as well, correct?

our current negotiations are just centered around animation specific stuff, correct?

Steve Hulett said...

There is no deal until there is a deal. And we're apart on money issues.

As the producers repeat to us in every negotiation: "The IA/Basic package isn't necessarily YOUR package. ..."

They have doubled down on that proposition this time around.

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