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CAA Raises Pay for Assistants, Hourly Employees in Response to #PayUpHollywood

Plans for increase preceded recent uproar over assistant pay

Talent Agency CAA has raised pay rates for assistants and other hourly employees, an individual with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap on Wednesday.

Assistants — a specific job title at CAA — will now make $18 an hour, up from $15, the individual said. New hourly rates for other employees were not disclosed.

Assistants in Hollywood are notoriously poorly paid and work long hours for often-demanding bosses, part of Hollywood lore that has been satirized in movies like “Swimming With Sharks.”  But assistants have started to push back, publicizing their dissatisfaction with the hashtag #PayUpHollywood.

The pay hikes come as part of CAA’s efforts to set compensation for employees and plans to enact them preceded the recent uproar over how much entry level and assistant level jobs in Hollywood driven by the hashtag campaign, the individual said. The effort is “ongoing,” according to the individual.

Other agencies have recently also hiked pay for hourly workers, most recently Verve Talent and Literary Agency, which announced in December that it gave assistants and mailroom staff a 25 to 40 percent raise in response to the #PayUpHollywood movement. The pay raises took effect Jan. 1.

Verve mailroom staff will now make $17.50 an hour, assistants will make $18.50, and “experienced assistants” will make $20, the company announced at the time. At least 30 assistants and a pool of 10 mailroom/floater employees are affected.

Verve also shortened its working hours based on survey responses. Instead of operating from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., the company also announced new hours, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; employees working outside of those hours will still continue to receive overtime pay.

Lawrence Yee contributed to this report