IATSE Aims to Release Full Contract With AMPTP to Members This Weekend

Union’s West Coast locals are holding meetings with members this week to discuss major elements of deal with studios

Hollywood sign IATSE

Leaders of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) say that at some point this weekend they hope to share with members the full proposed new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

An individual with knowledge of the matter tells TheWrap that a specific date and time for the disclosure hasn’t been set, as IATSE and AMPTP negotiators are still finalizing contract language for an agreement that covers wages and working wages for 13 West Coast locals representing dozens of diverse professions in the entertainment industry. But the goal is to show the full contract with members before the weekend ends.

Related to this, in a memo shared with TheWrap, IATSE’s Motion Picture Editors Guild (Local 700) invited members to a virtual meeting on Sunday, Oct. 24 to discuss the proposed new deal in greater detail. “We still do not know when the Memorandum of Agreement will be fully completed nor the ratification schedule, but I will keep you posted on both,” MPEG National Executive Director Cathy Repola wrote in the memo.

The news comes amid significant complaints from rank and file IATSE members about the early details of the new agreement with studios. On social media and also in conversations with TheWrap, several IATSE members criticized issues pertaining to working conditions — such as lunch breaks and turnarounds — as explained in the announcement of the three-year deal sent on Saturday night.

On the IA_Stories Instagram page, where IATSE members have shared stories of poor working conditions on Hollywood sets ahead of the negotiations, a post of the memo was filled with negative comments threatening a “no” vote on ratification.

In the wake of these comments, all of IATSE’s locals have begun holding virtual meetings with members to begin addressing concerns and provide more detail on several of the key gains that the union’s negotiating team earned after tens of thousands of IATSE members voted to authorize a strike.

As part of these meetings, IATSE has shared with members a series of fact sheets that provide the first glimpse at some hard numbers on issues like wage increases, turnarounds, and penalties for productions that delay lunch breaks. As first reported by TheWrap, the new contract will see hourly wages for the lowest paid union members increase from $16 per hour to $23.50 per hour, rising to $26 per hour by 2024. Scale wages will increase 3% annually for each of the next three years as well.

Lunch break penalties have been increased to $25 per worker per every half hour that the break is delayed after four penalties are accrued. If the penalties go past 20 for a worker in a single week, the penalty increases to one hour of the worker’s prevailing wage rate.

For turnarounds, the fact sheet says that workers are now guaranteed “54 hours of rest when you work five consecutive days in a week, and 32 hours of rest when you work six days.” This turnaround time can be reduced by four hours if the production is shooting at a location with limited access or if the shoot is taking place at night, but this exception can only be used once per six weeks for TV productions, once for a feature film with a 66-85 minute run time or twice for a feature film running longer than 85 minutes.

Daily turnarounds have also been extended to 10 hours for all film and TV productions, eliminating exceptions for productions like pilots and first season TV shoots that were frequently the sort of productions that had shoot days last longer than 14 hours. This provision has been a particular complaint online by some IATSE members, as many workers are crew members on multi-season TV productions that already have 10-hour turnarounds.

Another fact sheet outlined some of the wage increases for streaming productions, which are as follows:

MORE PROJECTS QUALIFY FOR HIGH BUDGET TIER 1 STATUS: 17% wage increases for projects that meet minimum budget thresholds, but stream on streaming video on-demand (SVOD) platforms with less than 20 million subscribers.

• INCREASED WAGES FOR HIGH BUDGET TIER 2 PROJECTS: 14% wage increases for one-time projects and first seasons that fall under Tier 2 of the High Budget SVOD Sideletter.

• INCREASED WAGES FOR MID-BUDGET PROJECTS: 6% wage increases for projects that begin principal photography on or after the first Sunday following AMPTP receipt of ratification. Additional 6% wage increases effective 7/31/22.

• WAGES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR LOW-BUDGET PROJECTS: Low-budget productions that are 20 minutes or longer now have minimum wages, terms and conditions. Wages were previously subject to negotiation.

More details on streaming wage increases are expected with the release of the full contract. Deadline first reported IATSE’s plan to share the contract with members this weekend.

More to come…