Friday, July 24, 2009

IA Executive Board Meetings

Union representatives from IATSE unions and guilds near and far ended their attendance at the week-long IA executive board sessions yesterday afternoon. I won't regale you with all the thrills and chills that occurred Monday through Thursday, Instead, here's a couple of quick snapshots of the proceedings:

1) Contract negotiations have been tough for unions and guilds over the past seven months. There was a string of reports detailing how broadcast companies, stage companies, and movie production companies are playing hardball and insisting on rollbacks from employees working under union contracts. Happily, most unions report that they've been able to negotiate 1.5% to 3% yearly increases in their contracts, but it's been anything but easy.

2) Report on The Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan (where TAG members get health coverage and pension benefits):

*The Plan now has $4.8 billion in total assets (up form $4.65 billion at the end of '08)

* Investment assets in the Defined Benefit Plan are up 3.2% for the year. (They were down last year.)

* Investment assets in the Individual Account Plan are up 2.7% for the year. (These were also down last year. There's a surprise.)

* There are currently 121,000 participants in the Plan (Actives, Dependents, and Retirees.)

* The Plan has 11.2 months of reserves for active participants; 17 months of reserves in the retiree accounts. The Plan enjoys the highest rating from the Fed ('green") for overall financial health and viability. ( And what are some of the lower ratings? "Orange," "yellow" and ... wait for it ... "red.")

There were other reports and presentations, but I won't share them here, since I don't want to wear your eyeballs out or have my fingers get too tired.


My 2 Cents said...

Did the producers offer a concession of their own for the rollbacks, like more jobs or less runaway production, for example? If not, then that was pretty damn nervy.

Kevin Koch said...

Note that getting a 2% increase per year in minimum salaries instead of a 3% increase per year is not a roll back. The minimums aren't decreasing (THAT would be a roll back), they just won't be increasing as fast.

The one real roll back, the increase in required hours for health coverage (from 300 hours every 6 months to 400 hours), which only happens in the last year of the contract, was the union's response to wildly increasing heath care costs. The producer's concession was to increase their hourly contributions to the health plan, which is why the increased hours don't come into effect until 2011.

My 2 Cents said...


I didn't mean to make the point that the producers actually got rollbacks. I think that their simply asking for them was nervy enough. Consistent with the still prevailing economic paradigm, they want to have their corporate cake and eat it, too. They want to send jobs away or eliminate them, get free overtime, AND pay lower wages.

When will they finally get that destroying the work force to save companies is cutting off your nose to spite your face?

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