Editors Guild Board to Recommend Members Vote "No" on Proposed IATSE Contract

A tentative deal was reached Thursday between IATSE and producers.
Shane Gritzinger/Getty Images

The board of directors of Local 700, the Motion Picture Editors Guild, has voted unanimously to recommend to its members to vote "no" on the proposed IATSE contract.

IATSE, the union that represents most unionized film and TV crew members, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Thursday reached a tentative deal on a new three-year contract. Even so, the pact still requires ratification to go into effect, and the final result won't be known until late August or early September.

Cathy Repola, national executive director of the Editors Guild, has described the contract as "a totally, unnecessarily unacceptable agreement" in a memo to members.

If Local 700 votes against ratification, the Motion Picture Editors would still be bound by the deal if enough other Locals vote to ratify. As yet, there does not appear to be organized opposition to the deal in the other affected Locals.

IATSE international president Matthew D. Loeb called the agreement a "huge victory," saying that it “will bring significant gains and continued security for the welfare and livelihood of all IATSE members covered by the Basic Agreement."

These varying views center on the way the pension and heath care plans will be funded, as well as additional areas, such as turnaround time.

Each individual member of IATSE will cast a vote on whether or not to ratify the agreement. When the votes are tabulated, the process works like an electoral college: The members' votes are counted on a Local by Local basis, and the majority determines whether that Local will vote in favor or against ratification. Each Local will cast a certain number of votes depending on the size of the Local, just as the electoral college gives the most populated states the most votes.

The largest Locals, which have the most votes, are Local 600 (International Cinematographers), Local 700 (Motion Picture Editors) and Local 800 (Art Directors).

Those other Locals include 10 other constituents of IATSE's West Coast Studio Locals: Local 44 (Affiliated Property Craftspersons), Local 80 (Studio Grips, Crafts Service, Set Medics, Marine Department and Warehouse Workers), Local 695 (Production Sound Technicians, Television Engineers, Video Assist Technicians and Studio Projectionists), Local 705 (Motion Picture Costumers), Local 706 (Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists), Local 728 (Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians), Local 729 (Set Painters and Sign Writers) Local 884 (Studio Teachers), Local 871 (Stage & Picture Operators) and Local 892 (Costume Designers).

The current IATSE Basic Agreement is set to expire July 31. IATSE members will work under the current contract until the results of this vote are available. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that, as is often the case, the ratification will be deemed retroactive, in this case to Aug. 1.