IATSE & Producers Set To Resume Contract Talks Today

IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers are set to resume negotiations today for a new film and TV contract.

Bargaining broke off on June 11 after four weeks of talks and had been set to resume on July 6. The resumption of negotiations was delayed again until August 17 to allow time for the producers and Hollywood’s unions to work out an agreement on guidelines for mandatory Covid vaccinations. IATSE’s current contract, covering its 13 West Coast studio locals, had been set to expire on July 31, and any new deal would be retroactive to that date.

During the recess, the union sent out messages to its members outlining it demands, which include an end to discounts that long have been afforded to so-called “New Media” productions, shorter workdays and workweeks, higher wages and sustainable pension and health benefits.

The leaders of IATSE’s 13 locals, which includes three with nationwide jurisdiction – Cinematographers Local 600, Editors Guild Local 700 and Art Directors Local 800 – told their members during the break that they are “unified in their support for living wages” and “unified in their support for sustainable benefits” through the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plan, which had been approaching “critical status” before the pandemic.

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Earlier this month, the union indicated that making gains in New Media was one of the chief goals of the negotiations. “New Media is not so new anymore” and “doesn’t need a worker subsidy,” the union said. “For over 15 years, IATSE members have supported the development of productions made for delivery over the Internet and other similar distribution systems (‘New Media’) as it has grown to become a commercially viable and profitable method that dominates content delivery.”

”IATSE members have contributed their skill and artistry to these projects while the budgets have exploded,” the union said, but noted that “on some New Media projects, members are not even paid a specific scale wage or credited with pension hours.”

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