Casting Directors Reach Labor Deal

1:18 PM PST 09/02/2011 by Jonathan Handel

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, including whether studios agreed to pay for casting assistants during pilot season. The ratification meeting is Sept. 15.

After a week of negotiations between the studios and unionized freelance casting directors, they’ve reached a deal. However, details of the agreement were not available.

The Teamsters, who rep the CDs and associate CDs, will hold a ratification meeting September 15 at the WGA.

The current three-year collective bargaining agreement expires September 30.

The casting directors may have sought to have studios agree to pay for casting assistants during pilot season. A dispute on the issue broke out earlier this year, but the CD’s were not able to gain any ground at the time.

The existing agreement sets minimum compensation for associate CD’s working on television projects, but leaves CD’s wages, and associate CD’s wages on theatrical projects, open for individual negotiation. Other key provisions of the brief agreement lay out employer contribution rates for pension and health, and leave open the possibility of discussing “new media issues.”

It’s not known which, if any, of these issues figured in the negotiations or the new deal.

The CDs and associates – about 450 total – are represented by Teamsters Locals 399 (Los Angeles) and 817 (New York), while the studios and producers are represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. They achieved recognition as a unionized group in 2005, following a long organizing effort. More recently, visual effects workers and composers and lyricists have attempted to organize, but without success.

Email: jhandel@att.net

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