Thursday, May 31, 2012

Counterpoint

Last night's meeting had a lot of positive energy and good input from the membership.

But it wasn't (isn't?) all lollipops and sunshine. ...

Here is a screed from a member who has a different POV:

Why IN THE WORLD would you walk away from any negotiation?!? How old are you? Do you walk in this animation world that I LIVE in? Do you realize that all you do is take without really giving back? And NOW you threaten my job? What is there to discuss? I want to work! I will send this to every member I can and I would hope that if the guild truly represents the artists; you will put it into the "Pegboard".

Now to a couple of the terms you say are past negotiation.

1. Tests: These are not a studio thing, but are demanded from other "Guild" members, Directors, Supervising directors, Supervising Producers etc...

2. Raises: Wow! really? In 1996 I was making more than I do now.

3. Health benefits: I was told in my "Welcome to the union" meeting that the co-pay was going up. (Not to mention that I don't have them yet.and may never.)

I'm sure there are more, but I need to get ready to go to bed because "Thank GOD!! I get to go to work tomorrow!"

People close to me tell me I should keep my mouth shut, but you asked for my opinion. Sooo... Here it is.

Lead, or get out of the way. When you are making more than most of us each year there is an issue. Remember, We pay you to represent US. at least for now.

My OPINION ...

I'm not really clear about some of the objections. But what I scope out:

1) The artist objects to the committee voting to reject a low-ball proposal and walking out of negotiations.

2) The artist doesn't want to go on strike. (Nobody has proposed that.)

3) The artist doesn't want his co-pays/premiums to go up. (If he's single, neither will.)

4) The artist doesn't like what I'm paid.

7 comments:

Unknown said...

Was this person even at the meeting last night? Because the explanation as to WHY the negotiations went the way they did clarified a LOT for me and my coworkers who were there.

"Lead, follow, or get out of the way" indeed. If OPINION wants to roll over for a substandard life so that the studios can make even MORE money, that's great. But they aren't allowed to take me with them on their downward spiral!

Unknown said...

You're entitled to your opinion. But, an informed opinion is always better. You should have been there last night to better understand what the issues are and why our negotiators put their feet down. If you were there and felt this strongly, you should have spoke up.

There are several proposals that were highlighted last night which need to be fought for or against. Does any board artist really want to be classified by an ambiguous number as opposed to a descriptive job title which could be disputed? Once you agree to be classified as a number, that is all you are. That was one of the issues raised that we need to stand up against. We've been on a downward slide for many years (perhaps since '96?); when are you willing to dig your feet in and draw a line? I know what is at stake. It's a terrible economy. I have a young family, mortgage, etc that I"m responsible for. But, some things-like dignity are more important than groveling for a slice of the big pie which you yourself created.

My opinion? I think we should have living wages, and regardless of whether you're working in video games, TV, feature, you should share in the profit of whatever property you're involved in producing. So, if you work on a hit show, you should be entitled to a larger piece of the pie. If you're working on something terrible, you should be happy to have a fair living wage. That seems like the most reasonable approach to me. That way productions who are truly struggling don't have to be over-burdened; productions that are raking it in all benefit; it incentivizes artists to do better.

That's what I think.

Celshader said...

One of the perks of collective bargaining is majority rule. If the majority of 839 members agree with OPINION, then all 839 members will get the contract that OPINION wants.

As a VFX artist on honorary withdrawal from the 839, I attended the meeting last night to see how my sister industry was doing. I thought the producers' proposal was insulting, frankly. Any group that generates that much $$$ for the entertainment industry should get at least as much of a minimum rate increase as the caterers.

chrisheadrick said...
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chrisheadrick said...
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Nathan said...

The first step to managing the testing issue is to establish a reasonable standard; the second is to enforce that standard. If there are no consequences to excessive testing, then neither showrunners nor producers have any incentive to avoid it.

hoopcooper said...

Holey Moley...

I have to say, as a member of another Union as well, I'm always a little blown away by comments like the one that began this thread. I remember an artist once saying to me that we should be grateful to the studios for giving us work. It's just so heartbreaking.

What I would ask of this member is, apropos of what Chris Headrick said, this member who's complaining about the negotiations should make a convincing argument why the creative people working in animation DON'T deserve the raises that the caterers do. Tell me why and maybe I'll listen.

But until then, I just see a bunch of men and women without whom none of the work gets done. And I see them bringing their unique gifts to huge money-making projects and getting very little in return. So now they want us to take less than our the rest of our union? Of course that's what they want...but when someone within our ranks argues their side, it just makes me sad.

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