WME this week put in place that new pay schedule for WME assistants I told you was coming. The New York office’s was announced first, followed by the Beverly Hills headquarters. “Can you believe they decided to break the news to us in a meeting disguised to discuss our new health insurance plans?” one BH source tells me. “And, of course, nothing in writing… Just a scale told to us nonchalantly.” The new agency had to “recalculate” the pay for WMA assistants (about $13.50 an hour) to be more on par with Endeavor assistants (about $9.50 an hour). Manwhile, Endeavorites were earning more overtime tham WMAers.
So here’s what begins August 1st:
Under 1 year – $11/hour
1 – 2 years – $12/hr
2 – 3 years $13/hr
Over 3 years – $14/hr
The pay increases $1/hr for every year over 3 that the assistant is employed.
Any raises from the end-of-year reviews have been taken off the table.
Official hours are from 9-7 PM and a 50-hour work week is expected.
There are faint rumblings of a walk-out, especially because the assistants tell me that they are taking on much more work. Needless to say, the famous UTA joblist is making the rounds especially among the majority of William Morris assistants who are taking a huge pay cut — on average 20% to 35%! — and sense that the ladder of opportunity for them no longer exists. The WMAers feel there is favoritism being shown the Endeavorites. They claim that whenever Ari Emanuel makes the rounds, he chats with many Endeavor assistants but does not take any time with the WMA assistants. It sounds petty, but this stuff does matter. On the other hand, not all th ese assistants are wet behind the ears. Many have law and business graduate degrees or years of working in other fields, and knew going in that the agency biz has a god-awful paying apprenticeship.Then again, there’ve been many California government crackdowns on what is tantamount to showbiz slave labor.