IATSE Members to Vote on Contract Approval on Weekend of Nov. 12

Results will be announced on Nov. 15

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has announced that it will hold a nationwide membership vote on whether to ratify the Hollywood Basic and Area Standards Agreements on the weekend of November 12, with results being announced on November 15.

Members of the union’s 13 West Coast locals will vote on whether to approve the Hollywood Basic Agreement, while 23 locals nationwide will vote on the Area Standards Agreement.

The vote will take place roughly a month after IATSE negotiators reached a tentative agreement on a new bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios in labor talks. The deal was made with less than 36 hours until the union was set to walk away from talks and begin the first strike in IATSE history.

All 13 West Coast locals recommended approval of the contract in a joint letter published last week, touting it as the best contract the union has ever negotiated. Among the key gains is an increase in hourly wages for the union’s lowest paid members like script coordinators and writer assistants, rising from $16 per hour to $23.50 per hour in 2022 and to $26 per hour by 2024.

While members on both sides of the issue have told TheWrap that they expect that the contract will be ratified, members from all of the union’s locals have spoken out online against the deal, arguing that it does not go far enough to address multiple issues that led tens of thousands of IATSE members to authorize a strike.

Among those issues is turnaround times, as members have criticized studios for pushing film and TV productions into shoots that last over 14 hours and providing little time for rest. The new contract requires 10-hour turnarounds for all productions, including productions like first-season TV shows that regularly shoot late into the night and then start early again the next day. Shoots with five-day work schedules must have 54-hour turnarounds on weekends while shoots with six-day schedules must have 32-hour turnarounds.

But critics within the union say that many productions already have 10-hour turnarounds, meaning there will be no discernable change in rest periods for thousands of crew workers. The issue of turnarounds and rest periods has come up on the set of “Rust,” where actor Alec Baldwin accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a live firearm. Hours before the accident, several union crew members walked off the production, with one of their complaints being the production’s alleged refusal to provide lodging within a reasonable distance of the film site, leaving the crew with reduced time for sleep.

More to come…

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