Editors Guild Publishes Reasons Why Members Should Vote "No" on IATSE Contract

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Local 700, the Motion Picture Editors Guild, has published a "Contract Talk" page on its website, detailing the reasons why its board voted unanimously on Saturday to recommend to its members to vote "no" on the proposed IATSE contract.

IATSE, the union that represents most unionized film and TV crewmembers, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Thursday reached a tentative deal on a new three-year contract. Now the pact requires ratification to go into effect.

The complaints center on the way the pension and heath care plans will be funded, as well as additional areas, such as turnaround time. (Read the full document here.)

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

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

In an article published today on the website of Cinemontage, the journal of the Editors Guild, Repola is said to have posted the following on an "I am the Union" Facebook page: “Some people are saying Local 700 is mad because we got one hour less turnaround than everyone else. The truth is, we are not mad. We think it was wrong. But that speaks to the commitment we all made, the IA and the locals, to not let any one local get singled out.”

From here, 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) and Local 700 (Motion Picture Editors). The other Locals include 10 other constituents of IATSE's West Coast Studio Locals: Local 800 (Art Directors), 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 (Script Supervisors/Continuity, Coordinators, Accountants & Allied Production Specialists) and Local 892 (Costume Designers).

According to the aforementioned Cinemontage article, as of the 2017 IATSE convention, this was the allocation of the votes: Local 600 – 76 votes; Local 700 – 73 votes; Local 44 – 56 votes; Local 80 – 29 votes; Local 728 – 26 votes; Local 800 – 23 votes; Local 871 – 21 votes; Local 706 – 20 votes; Local 695 – 19 votes; Local 705 – 17 votes; Local 892 – 10 votes; Local 729 – 9 votes; Local 884 – 2 votes. THR has reached out to IATSE to confirm these numbers.

The results of the vote are not expected to be announced until late August or early September. The current IATSE Basic Agreement expired on 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.