A 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 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.