For the first time since 26 years, IATSE, Teamsters, IBEW, OPCMIA, UA and LiUNA! are all set to bargain pension and health benefits together with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP). The joined forces will officially get to work on the matter in March. After that, IATSE will further negotiate the contracts and local union specific issues in the future.
As for the Teamsters and Hollywood Basic Crafts, they will bargain with the AMPTP in June for their Local classification specific issues. “Our benefit plans remain at the forefront of members’ minds. Though the plans took a hit financially due to work stoppages prolonged by the employers in 2023 as well as the pandemic work stoppage in 2020, the trustees of the plan knew funds spent to ensure continuity of workers’ health and retirement benefits was money well spent,” said IATSE VP Michael Miller. “It’s important for our unions to be on the same page as we collaboratively negotiate for the plans not only because sustainable benefits is a shared priority of our memberships, but also because recent hardships have brought behind-the-scenes crews together in historic fashion.”
The Motion Picture Pension and Health Plan covers over 75,000 active and retiree participants. Securing additional streaming-based funding for them, including increasing retirement accrual rates, and any cuts to health coverage for them is a part of the battle. “Our members are the backbone of production,” said Lindsay Dougherty, Teamsters Local 399 Principal Officer, and Chairperson of the Hollywood Basic Crafts. “They give their blood, sweat and tears to this industry. They are owed the ability to retire with dignity and have the stability of plan funding to protect and increase benefits. Fighting alongside IATSE on shared MPIPHP benefits will not only support all Hollywood crewmembers, but also remind the employers that when they can’t divide us, they should fear us. Nothing moves without the crew.”
And yet, unlike SAG and the WGA, the crew receives no residuals, but this year, with these powerful teams working together, that might finally change.