IATSE Tentative Agreement Reached With Studios and Streamers

By Chanak Maduranga

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IATSE Tentative Agreement Reached With Studios and Streamers
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On Tuesday night the crew union IATSE reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract covering 13 West Coast Locals with Hollywood’s top studios and streamers.

Leaders of the 13 West Coast Locals, who collectively represent around 50,000 crew members, disclosed the news to members on Tuesday night. IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents management in collective bargaining, later jointly announced the news. The deal for a successor contract to the so-called Basic Agreement is still subject to a ratification vote, which has not yet been scheduled, before it can take effect.

Though IATSE told members on Tuesday that it would provide more details in the next few days, union leaders did reveal some early terms. The provisional agreement will raise wages by 7 percent in the first year of the contract, 4 percent in the second year and 3.5 percent in the third year, according to the union — following the pattern that SAG-AFTRA established with its strike-ending contract in 2023. The new contract will include additional penalties for long work days, including a tripled hourly wage for hourly workers when a work day exceeds 15 hours. “On call” workers, meanwhile, will earn a doubled hourly wage on their seventh day of work in one week. The union added that “additional increases in pay will take effect on non-dramatic productions under the Videotape Supplemental Agreement,” a contract that covers some reality shows, game shows, awards shows, live TV and half-hour shows.

AI was a major concern for the labor group going into this round of negotiations, given that IATSE represents a wide array of crafts that could — or are already are — being affected by the technology. On that score, the union and management agreed to “new protections,” including “language that ensures no employee is required to provide AI prompts in any manner that would result in the displacement of any covered employee.”

When it comes to the union’s health and pension plans, the deal will fulfill the $670 million that the union has repeatedly stated is required to keep those benefits going strong. “New streaming residuals” are one of the funding mechanism that will help bolster the plan, the union disclosed.

“We thank everyone who participated in the 2024 Basic Agreement negotiations process,” the West Coast union leaders stated in their message to members on Tuesday. “From start to finish, your input was invaluable and ensured that our Negotiations Committee was at the bargaining table with clear goals and a consensus for how to achieve them.”

The leaders added that they looked forward to presenting members with the “complete package” of the deal. The union is set to release a summary of the agreement in two to three days, while a memorandum agreement is expected in the next two weeks. Union Locals will additionally be hosting town halls for members to explain the deal, while a webinar for all Locals will be hosted on July 13.

IATSE began negotiating its Basic Agreement on March 5. While many in the industry were initially concerned that this year’s negotiations could lead to the third industry strike in two years, over the course of the talks union leaders generally offered messages of hope. Critically, the negotiations came at a time when a broad swath of crew members was still reeling from the 2023 strikes and facing fewer job opportunities amid a broader industry-wide contraction.

The union had initially planned to conclude its Basic Agreement negotiations on May 17, but the labor group and management ended up adding two additional bargaining periods as key points remained unresolved. Ultimately, the tentative deal — coming on the second day of the latest bargaining extension — was reached far ahead of the Basic Agreement’s July 31 expiration date.

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

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