If you’ve been following the many stories Below the Line has been posting about the IATSE negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) over a new three-year contract, then you know that there were two separate but related agreements in play, the Basic Agreement, which covers the 13 Hollywood local unions, and the Area Standards Agreement, which covers 26 locals outside Los Angeles. Together, they consist of close to 60,000 working professionals in the film and television industry.
If you saw the timeline for negotiations and ratification last week, you know that the two groups were able to come to an agreement for the Basic Agreement that prevented and averted a union-wide strike. Now, it looks like there’s a tentative deal on a new Area Standards Agreement, which was reached quicker based on the successful negotiations of the Basic Agreement, through something known as “pattern bargaining.”
Both agreements will now go to separate ratifications via the members of each of the local unions, although no date for that vote has been announced. This will be the first time where members represented under the Area Standards Agreement will be able to vote on ratifying their contract separately from the rest of the union.
IATSE President Matthew Loeb released the statement, “We were able to achieve gains in all of our core areas. Quality-of-life issues were at the top of our priority list. The protective terms we negotiated in this agreement and the agreement reached earlier establish a defined weekend with the studios for the first time. The two agreements incorporate stiff penalties for failing to provide meals and breaks. Taken together, the improvements we made at the bargaining table are very significant and directly due to the solidarity of our members.”
Loeb also stated that the Basic Agreement “delivers our members a fairer deal on streaming.”
The unions released a joint statement that said, “The tentative agreement reached this week, like those earlier in the month, will significantly lift the lowest wage workers. The lowest earners will see wage increases of up to 60%. For example, the wages of a television art department coordinator will rise to $26 per hour by the third year. All members who work under these contracts will see their wages rise by a minimum of nine percent over the life of the three-year agreement.”
Loeb proudly added, “Goals we have been pursuing, in some cases for decades, have been achieved in these negotiations.”
You can read the full statement announcing the tentative deal on asa.iatse.net or below:
“Late Sunday, President Matthew Loeb and the 23 ASA Locals announced that the IATSE has tentatively agreed to terms and conditions for the 2021 Area Standards Agreement. The agreement was reached with the unanimous recommendation of the ASA Bargaining Committee and achieves important gains specific to
the Area Standards Agreement, as well as significant gains consistent with the Basic Tentative Agreement.
Our solidarity and unity throughout this process gave us the power to change the course of these negotiations and as a result, we can present an agreement that addresses our core issues and more.
Attached you will find economic and working condition Fact Sheets detailing the unprecedented gains made in both areas. The Memorandum of Agreement that contains the contractual language will be available when drafting is completed. Your Local will continue to provide information and ample opportunity for members to review and discuss the terms and conditions of the agreement prior to the electronic ratification vote.”
It’s signed “In Solidarity” by Loeb and reps for all 23 ASA Locals. IATSE members will be briefed by their local leaders on full details and the language of the tentative agreement over the coming weeks, as final language is being drafted by lawyers, representing both the union and AMPTP.
The ratification vote for the two proposed agreements will be held simultaneously, with members casting ballots online using a process similar to the one used to conduct the recent strike authorization vote, which will be overseen by the independent company, Honest Ballot.