Thursday, November 14, 2013

November Membership Meeting

I've been communicating with TAG officers and the executive board about the agenda of our last General Membership meeting of the year on November 26th. ...

The September meeting was a sizable one, but that's understandable. There were nominations for the Guild's Fall elections. I walked into the hall expecting to see every office contested, but the way it turned out, all the action was for slots on the executive board.

So now the elections are over, and we're into negotiation season. Like for instance:

Contract negotiations between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are set to officially begin on Nov. 4. ... The discussions for a new three-year contract will be hosted at the AMPTP's Sherman Oaks headquarters and conducted under a press blackout. ...

In recent years the DGA has been able to conclude a deal within 2-3 weeks, suggesting that an agreement may be concluded before Thanksgiving. ... No law or rule requires the other guilds to accept the deal terms negotiated by the DGA and AMPTP, but in practice it has proved difficult or impossible for them to do so. ...

Every Hollywood labor contract is different, yet almost all of them fall under the gravitational pull of "pattern bargaining." If the DGA gets a new media sideletter, the other unions get sideletters. If the DGA gets 2% wage bump ups, then SAG-AFTRA, WGA, and the IA are pretty much ordained to negotiate the same rates of increase.

And now another union has entered the batter's box behind the Directors Guild of America.

The Writers Guild of America has selected Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games”) and Chip Johannessen as co-chairs of its negotiating committee with WGA West executive director David Young as chief negotiator.

The current agreement expires May 1, and no date has been set for a successor deal on its master contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. ...

The IATSE and TAG won't be negotiating until 2015. But there's no time like the present to start talking about what the issues are and where we are going a year and a half hence. So the Animation Guild's late November meeting will have the following items on its agenda:

General Membership Meeting Agenda

1) 2015 Contract Negotiations

a) Storyboard Rates (Freelance and Staff)
b) Overtime
c) Work Practice Disavowals
d) Negotiation Committee

2) Holiday Party

One of the best things TAG members can do for themselves is knowing what's in the contract under which they work. What classification has the studio put me in? Is it the right one? Should I be making a higher minimum rate? When does overtime kick in? What the hell is "On Call?"

Knowledge is power and power means leverage. It's hard to challenge the studio on a contract violation if you don't know the contract is being violated in the first place. Come join us on the 26th and find out what your workplace rights and wages should be.


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