IATSE Reaches New 3-Year Deal with AMPTP

AMPTP_LogoA negotiating unit for below-the-line crew members reached agreement with the AMPTP on a tentative new three-year deal covering film and television production in Los Angeles, it was announced today. Neither IATSE nor the studios are releasing terms of the new Hollywood Basic Agreement as of yet.

If approved by the union membership, the pact will go into effect August 1, 2015, just after the current agreement expires. Early resolution of contract talks can give local production a shot in the arm, as producers and financiers avoid the worry of any work stoppage in the near future.

“I am pleased we were able to reach an agreement that provides industry stability and meaningful terms and benefits to the membership,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb.

“The industry is pleased we have reached a new agreement with IATSE months before the contract expires,” stated AMPTP President Carol Lombardini. “With the tentative agreement in place, our member companies can immediately begin planning production for the future with certainty.”

The negotiated deal will next be sent to the IATSE national board for approval. If it passes there, the next step would be member ratification vote.

IATSE Local 767 Merged into Local 80

IATSE Local 767 First Aid, which covers nurses on set, has been merged into Local 80. The order from Matt Loeb, international president of IATSE, was made effective as of August 26, 2013. All local conditions of the current collective bargaining agreements remain in effect through their expiration July 31, 2015.

From this point forward, any local union office issues concerning covered first aid workers should be addressed to Local 80.

NY Local 52 Commercial Agreement Effective 12/30/12

The upcoming new agreement between AICP commercial producers and IATSE Local 52 Studio Mechanics puts in place wage scale increases, benefit contribution rates and meal allowance increases, while also standardizing low budget agreements, adding First Aid workers to covered employees, and adding Bethpage Long Island facilities to the Studio Zone.

Current wage scales will remain in effect until December 29, when the minimum daily call will go up by $5 for one day only. Then on December 30, rates will be increased by 4% across the board, based on the December 29 minimum daily call rates. On December 1, 2013, rates will be increased again, by 2%.

Benefit contributions for employees working in the New York City Zone will have contributions made to MPIPHP at the current rate of $10.632 per hour, plus 6% of scale hourly rate to Individual Account Plans (IAP). Contributions for employees working in the Philadelphia Zone will increase to $95 per day on December 30. All employees working outside both the New York City Zone and Philadelphia Zone will have their contributions increased to $80 per day.

The deadline for AICP member companies to sign the new agreement is February 15, 2013.

Media Services Releases 3 New Apps for the Production Industry

Showbiz-Labor-Guide-AppMedia Services and Showbiz Software are proud to announce the release of three brand-new mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets. As first reported in the Hollywood Reporter, the production tools were released yesterday in conjunction with the annual Labor Guide Launch Party in Los Angeles, held at the W Hollywood.

The flagship app is the Showbiz Labor Guide, which mirrors the printed edition of the same name, but with easy touchscreen lookup of any wage rate from film and TV union agreements spanning the United States, such as IATSE, Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, DGA and WGA.

Showbiz-Labor-Guide-App-InteriorThe drill-down menu allows producers and accountants to select region, agreement and occupation code to get wage and hour minimums sorted by schedule (Daily, Weekly, On Call, etc).

The Showbiz Directory app is a standalone mobile database of entertainment industry vendors and crew members in production centers across the country. Media Services eForms is a series of fillable, signable forms for employees working on film, TV and commercial productions. Many of the forms are specific to Media Services’ payroll division: now clients and their crew can fill out start paperwork and send it directly from their tablet devices.

All three apps are currently available in Apple’s App Store; the Labor Guide and Directory can also be found in the Google Play store. The Labor Guide was released with the introductory price of $19.99, while the other two apps are free.

In conjunction with the rollout, Media Services and Showbiz Software raffled off three iPads to attendees of last night’s launch party, where several hundred were in attendance. The New York launch party is slated for December 6 at Chelsea Manor. Register for it here.

New Deal for Teamsters, Basic Crafts Follows IATSE Pattern

Local 399 TeamstersLos Angeles Teamsters and Basic Crafts locals have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract. The agreement covers Local 399 Teamsters, Local 40 Electrical, Local 78 Plumbers, Local 724 Studio Utility, and Local 755 Plasterers and Cement Masons. Negotiations were concluded late last week, ahead of the current agreement’s expiration at the end of July.

In announcing the successful conclusion of negotiations, both sides touted the importance of keeping production in Los Angeles by avoiding a work stoppage.

“I believe the tentative agreement is fair and equitable for both parties,” said Local 399 president Leo T. Reed, who serves as chairman of the negotiating committee for Basic Crafts. “It is my sincere desire to keep as much production in Los Angeles as possible.”

Though the announcement did not release full details, the tentative agreement appears to follow the pattern of the IATSE Basic Agreement reached in April, which called for a 2% wage increase for each of the three years of the deal.

“The tentative agreement with the Basic Crafts Unions calls for additional funding of the health plan and the same two percent annual wage increase as has been negotiated in all recent AMPTP agreements,” said the producers’ alliance in a statement. “The deals will help keep productions working without interruption in the Los Angeles area and, for Teamsters Local 399, throughout the 13 Western states as the industry continues to adapt to the challenges of producing in today’s market.”

The tentative agreement will still need to be sent to the membership of the locals involved for ratification.

IATSE Adds Education, Broadcast Divisions

As of June 4, IATSE will make some changes to its divisional structure, adding two new divisions and combining two existing ones to put more of a focus on broadcast and live theater. The newly-created Division of Education and Training will be headed up by former International Representative Patricia White. The union will also add a Broadcast Division, which will be under the direction of International Representative Sara England.

“Representation of broadcast technicians remains an integral part of this Union, and this change will bring added focus and prominence to those crafts,” said IATSE International President Matthew Leob. Of the Education and Training Division, he said: “Pat has taken on the role of developing these programs with great success. Training and Education are a core part of our priorities for success and I have full confidence in Pat’s ability to further that objective.”

In addition, the current Organizing Division will be folded into the Stagecraft Division. While the other major divisions (Motion Picture and Television Production, Tradeshow and Canadian Affairs) have their own internal organizing functions, Stagecraft will now also have its own as well. Loeb said Stagecraft organizing deserves the advantage of integration that the other divisions have enjoyed. The consolidation particularly makes sense because the current Organizing Division is largely devoted to Stagecraft and Broadcast anyway, each of which will now focus on organizing from within.

The move is seen as a signal of the union’s commitment to organizing all types of productions within its jurisdiction.


IATSE Reaches New 3-Year Tentative Agreement with AMPTP

IATSEIATSE today announced a tentative new three-year deal with film and TV producers represented by the AMPTP, well in advance of the July 31 expiration of the Hollywood Basic Agreement. The pact, which still requires membership ratification, calls for a 2% wage increase for IATSE crew members in each of the three years of the contract.

The main issue in negotiations, which had broken off once before, was pension and health benefits. A projected $350-$500 million contribution shortfall over the next three years would have threatened the pension and health plan from the MPIPHP, according to the union. Negotiators agreed to a $1 per hour increase to the health plan contribution from employers, a 20% raise over the $5 per hour currently being paid.

For their side, IATSE member participants with dependents will now pay a health plan premium: $25 per month for one dependent, $50 per month for two or more. Member participants without dependents will continue to pay zero premium, according to the union.

The parties agreed to shift 30.5 cents per hour from the Individual Account Plan to the Active Health Plan in order to help stabilize it. IATSE International President Matt Loeb pointed out that moneys had been reallocated from the health plan to the IAP in the past, and that a re-balancing was necessary at this time.

IATSE also agreed to expand the Studio Zone to be in line with other industry unions and guilds, and confirmed a long standing practice of promoting basic cable TV production in Los Angeles.

Negotiations took place over the course of more than three weeks, and though they had broken off once, the second round of talks generated a tentative agreement in one day. IATSE’s negotiating committee approved the new deal unanimously; it will next be sent to union members for ratification.

“The second round of negotiations has resulted in a fair deal that will provide employment stability, protect our health and pension plans and provide for wage increases in a fragile economy,” said Loeb in a letter to IA members.

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