An initial IATSE agreement has been reached with the studios and streamers

On Tuesday night, the IATSE crew union reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract covering 13 local West Coast crews with top Hollywood studios and broadcasters.

Leaders of 13 West Coast locals, who collectively represent about 50,000 crew members, revealed the news to members Tuesday night. The news was later announced by IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents management in collective bargaining. The contract deal that succeeds the so-called Basic Agreement is still subject to a ratification vote, for which a date has not yet been set, before it enters into force.

Although IATSE told members Tuesday it would provide more details in the coming days, union leaders did reveal some early terms. The tentative agreement will result in a 7% wage increase in the first year of the contract, 4% in the second year and 3.5% in the third year, according to the union — following the pattern set by SAG-AFTRA with its strike-ending contract in 2023. The new contract will include additional penalties for long workdays, including triple hourly pay for hourly workers when a workday exceeds 15 hours. Meanwhile, “on-demand” workers will receive double hourly pay on their seventh day of work in a single week. “Additional wage increases will go into effect on non-drama productions under the Videotape Supplemental Agreement,” the union added, a contract that covers some reality shows, game shows, award shows, live television and half-hour shows.

Artificial intelligence was a major concern for the working group in this round of negotiations, given that IATSE represents a wide range of crafts that can be – or already are – affected by technology. In this regard, the union and management agreed to “new protections,” including “language ensuring that no employee is required to file AI claims in any manner that would displace any covered employee.”

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When it comes to the union’s health and pension plans, the deal would meet the $670 million the union has repeatedly said is needed to keep those benefits strong. He revealed that the “new waste stream” is one of the financing mechanisms that will help boost the plan.

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

Leaders added they looked forward to presenting the “full package” of the deal to members. The Union is scheduled to issue a summary of the agreement within two to three days, while a memorandum of agreement is expected to be issued within the next two weeks. In addition, Union Locals will host town halls for members to explain the deal, while a webinar for all locals will be hosted on 13 July.

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

The union had initially planned to conclude 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 initial agreement – which came on the second day of the latest extension of bargaining – was reached well before the original agreement’s July 31 expiration date.

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