The Animation Guild representING 2,600 artists, writers and technicians employed in the animation industry today announced its Local 839 IATSE membership has ratified the collective bargaining agreement reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The Guild walked out of talks in April, returning in June after a heavily-attended special membership meeting and guild survey of contract priorities. About 24% of those ballots sent out were returned. The vote was 86.7% in favor, with 13.3% against. The contract calls for 2% annual compounded wage increases in line with what other Hollywood guilds received. Health, pension and IAP benefits are to be provided under the terms of the IATSE Basic Agreement reached in April. Other provisions of the new agreement include a new storyboard revisionist classification, changes to the talent development program, and DreamWorks Animation wage minimums. The contract will be in effect from August 1st through July 31, 2015.
“We’re gratified with the level of support this contract received,” Business Representative Steve Hulett said in a statement. “The contract talks were not easy, and the negotiation committee wondered at times if we would ever reach a conclusion.”
The Animation Guild is a local union of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE).
MPAA’s new Chairman/CEO Chris Dodd held his first official Board meeting in Washington DC today. But here’s what I find most interesting: following the meeting, the members of the Board from the major studios suddenly embraced the leaders from the major entertainment industry unions DGA, IATSE, SAG, AFTRA. Notably missing was the WGA which keeps being ostracized by the other unions not to mention the studios. The MPAA tells me the studios and other unions “scheduled meetings with key members of Congress and the Administration to discuss the critical importance of curbing online content theft and improving international market access”. Hmm.
UPDATED: Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park, the company that announced several weeks ago that it has licensed canceled soaps One Live to Live and All My Children from ABC to continue producing them for online distribution, is finding just how hard is to transfer broadcast network series to the Web. The company just released a statement addressing some of the guild and union issues it faces in trying to continue to produce the two series for what I hear are target re-launch dates during Q1 of 2012. (All My Children will end its run on ABC on Sept. 23, One Life to Live in January 2012.) The statement was timed to coincide with the two soaps’ return from their planned hiatuses. With the casts and crews back to work, reps for Prospect Park have started to meet with casts and crews to discuss the move, with conversations with the guilds and unions involved also underway. (Unions, including AFTRA, also have been setting up meetings with current employees from the shows to advise them on the provisions of their current bargaining agreements.) Under the terms of the arrangement between Prospect Park and ABC, Prospect Park has committed to “continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length,” meaning that the company plans to deliver five broadcast-quality episodes a week each of One Life to Live and All My Children. Here is the statement: Read More »
It looks increasingly like the Hollywood guilds are giving up before they even go into this 2010/2011 round of negotiations with the movie studios and TV networks. This message by 4-time Basic Agreement/FLTTA Negotiations Chair Gil Cates to 14,000 Directors Guild members talks about focusing on health and pension plans and doesn’t even mention demanding more New Media money from the AMPTP. This, despite the fact that Big Media is alive and well and even flourishing not just this quarter but in many cases for next quarter or even the entire year. (Every Studio & Network Boosted Earnings) For instance, Warner Bros’ home video revenue was down 8%, but revenue from digital distribution grew by a sizable 50% and now represents nearly 20% of the studio’s total home video pie. Yet the trickle down effect has been slow or nonexistent for Hollywood when it comes to this and every Big Media revenue stream.
What’s also interesting about Cates’ statement is that this notorious hater of the Writers Guild cozies up to the new SAG-AFTRA cooperation. So it’s clear what’s going to happen during this next round of negotiations: SAG-AFTRA make a quick and easy contract full of compromises and few gains. The DGA soon follows. Which leaves the WGA on its own – facing bogus Hollywood trade reports about impending strike action to create pressure from all the other guilds to hurry up and make a deal “so we all can go back to work”. In other words, capitulation.
I’m honored to be serving as your Basic Agreement/FLTTA Negotiations Chair for the fourth time, and to be giving you the first update on the 2010/2011 negotiations cycle.
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