(Updated with more IATSE statements & details) IATSE appears to have gotten much of what it was asking for in a deal with the AMPTP that averted a nationwide strike, including more rest between workdays, a significant investment in the health and pension plans, improved wages and working conditions on streaming shows.
“This is a Hollywood ending,” said IATSE International President Matt Loeb after news of the agreement (revealed exclusively by Deadline) became public. “Our members stood firm. We are tough and united,” he added with a full brief coming for all members before they vote on ratifying the deal. “We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs.”
The leadership of Local 800 went for ever greater blunt brevity
“Hands down this is the strongest contract we have achieved in our history,” said Art Directors Guild president Nelson Coates and other top Local execs.
In an earlier message to their members, IATSE chief Loeb and the leaders of the union’s 13 Hollywood production locals praised the members’ solidarity for securing a fair contract. “Everything achieved was because you, the members, stood up and gave us the power to change the course of these negotiations,” they said in a statement. “Our solidarity, at both the leadership and rank and file level, was the primary reason that no local was left behind and every priority was addressed. Because of you we realized:
• Living wage achieved
• Improved wages and working conditions for streaming
• Retroactive scale wage Increases of 3% annually
• Employer Funded Benefits for the term
• Increased meal period penalties including prevailing rate
• Daily Rest Periods of 10 hours without exclusions
• Weekend Rest Periods of 54 and 32 hours
• Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Holiday
• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
• 13th and 14th checks for pre-August 2009 retirees
• Additional MPI Hours for On-Call Employees
• Expansion of Sick Leave Benefit to the entire country
The International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, gave even more details on the major points of the agreement, including nearly $400 million in employer contributions to cover a projected deficit for the pension and health plans at no added cost to participants or reduction in benefits. Other deal points include:
•54-hour weekend rest period. 32 for a sixth day worked.
•10-hour daily rest periods for all crew members.
•Significant increases in minimum rates for those working on productions made for New Media
•Wage and fringe package increase for all IATSE members that includes 3.5% in the first year of the agreement, 3.0% in the second year and 3.0% in the third year.
•Substantial increases in minimum rates for the lowest paid job categories ranging up to 35%.
•Expansion of paid sick leave.
•Rates for lowest paid $23.50 in the 1st year, $24.50 in the second year and $26.00 in the third year for APOC, WRA, SC and Art Dept. Coordinator.
•Meal penalties $7.50 for 1st, $10.00 for 2nd, $12.50 for 3rd and 4th and $25.00 for fifth and each subsequent meal penalty. If in any workweek an employee has 20 or more meal penalties the subsequent meal penalties are one hour of the prevailing rate for each half-hour meal penalty.
•Extra holiday for Local #600 East under the Amendment Agreement.
•Pension and Health for on-call persons. – An additional hour for first five days in the first two years and an additional two hours for the third year
•WAGES – This is the big one in that we broke the pattern with above-the-line unions with 3% increase in each year of the contract plus an additional 40 cents per hour worked to pension and health.
“Your strike authorization vote, your preparation for a strike and your willingness to risk your livelihood to fight for yourselves and each other has profoundly changed our union,” the union leaders said. “We thank you for your unwavering support.”
Members will be provided with more details about the new contract over the next few days. After that, they’ll have to ratify it.
In the meantime, as members and the rest of Hollywood began to catch their breath and digest the deal, IATSE exec Mike Miller offered a big picture perspective
“Our members will see significant improvements, but our employers also will benefit,” said the union VP and Motion Picture Director for IATSE. “This settlement allows pre-production, production and post-production to continue without interruption. Workers should have improved morale and be more alert. Health and safety standards have been upgraded.”
The final details will of course be in the small print.