A month after IATSE reached a tentative three-year film and TV agreement with producers, details of the deal finally are emerging. The union has yet to disclose the terms publicly, but Deadline has learned that it calls for 3% pay raises in each year of the contract, which is in line with the deals Hollywood’s other major unions got in their recent rounds of collective bargaining.
Covering some 38,000 of the union’s Hollywood-based members, the new pact with management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers also calls for pensioners who retired prior to August 1, 2009, to receive two extra pension checks on or about November 1 of each year of the new contract so long as the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan remains on sound financial footing. Employer contributions to the union’s pension plan also will increase by 18 cents per hour worked in each year of the pact. The union’s Defined Benefit Pension Plan benefit accrual formula also will increase by 10% for active participants, effective January 1, 2017, and retroactive to August 1, 2015.
The union also won what it’s calling “major improvements” for members working in new media and for the first time got the companies to make contributions to its Entertainment and Exhibition Industries Training Trust Fund, which provides safety training for motion picture workers covered by the contract.
In the area of health care coverage, there will be no increased costs to primary participants or their dependents for health care coverage, despite rising costs, and prescription drug co-payments won’t increase either. Current members with at least one qualifying year in the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan will continue to be eligible for retiree health coverage after 15 qualifying years, while new members who do not have a qualifying year under the plan as of January 1, 2016, will need 20 qualifying years to qualify for retiree health coverage.
“This is a solid contract that addresses important issues for our members,” said IATSE President Matt Loeb. The new contract, which goes into effect August 1, still must be ratified by the union’s membership. It covers about a dozen Hollywood locals representing a wide range of behind-the-scenes film and TV workers, including cinematographers, editors, art directors, costumers, sound technicians, grips, lighting technicians, prop makers, studio teachers, set painters, script supervisors, publicists, makeup artists and hairstylists.
Meanwhile, IATSE has been busy in its efforts to organize non-union productions in Los Angeles. It recently unionized four productions in a single week, including an indie feature, an industrial shoot for Microsoft and commercials for McDonald’s and a sporting goods retailer.