Negotiations are underway for a new IATSE film and TV contract. The current pact expires July 31, but a strike is considered unlikely: In its 125-year history, the IATSE has never launched an industrywide walkout.
There’s a new wrinkle this year, however. In the wake of the #Me Too movement, many members of historically female crafts, such as set decorators, makeup artists and hair stylists, are looking for outsized pay raises to gain some modicum of equity with their higher-paid brethren in the historically male crafts including camera, editing, sound and pretty much all the other highest-paid crafts.
A member-driven petition in support of pay equity for art department coordinators – who are part of Script Supervisors Local 871 – has been signed by more than 2,300 union members who say “it’s time for pay equity.” Currently, they can be paid as little as $15.39 an hour on TV shows.
“Now more than ever, light is being shed on sexual harassment present in the entertainment industry and our workplace,” the petition says. “However, there is another form of gender inequality that prevails in our workplace every day: pay inequality. And it is alive and well in our industry.”
“This is reminiscent of the old Hollywood era that needs to change,” one of the organizers of the petition told Deadline.
The IATSE’s 14 West Coast locals – including Cinematographers Guild Local 600, Editors Guild Local 700 and Art Directors Guild Local 800 – are meeting separately this week with management’s AMPTP to discuss terms for their local agreements, and the issue of gender equity is expected to be a major issue. Full-scale negotiations for the IATSE’s Basic Agreement will get underway next week covering all the major studios and production companies.