The Animation Guild and Nickelodeon Animation Studios had a deal and now they have a contract. Today a vote was held at the studio in Burbank and the final result had 90.1% of the 61 recently unionized CG Artists of Local 839 IATSE voting Yes for the contract. The Guild has had a contract covering traditional animation artists at the Viacom-owned cable network since 2004. Since 2008, Local 839 has been trying to organize CG artists under its protection. In the case of the 70 Nickelodeon employees, negotiations started in March and were “stringent” at the beginning, I hear. However, sources tell me but with a bit of give on both sides, they reached a deal on July 10. “Nick negotiators Bill Cole and Kevin Ellman were tough but flexible, and had a lot to do with the parties reaching agreement,” said the Guild’s Business Representative Steve Hulett in a statement today about the crew on the other side of the table. The Guild said Friday that the main issue in the talks was to insure uninterrupted health coverage for covered employees with bridging from Nickelodeon’s corporate insurance to the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan.
The Animation Guild is a local union of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada.