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The studios and unionized freelance casting directors reached a tentative three-year deal Wednesday. Although details of the agreement were not available, it’s likely that associate casting directors working in TV will see 2 percent annual wage increases, since that figure has been the norm for the past several years, and was the increase provided in the most recent CD contract, a one-year affair which expires Sept. 30.
In contrast, casting directors working in film or TV, and associate casting directors working in film, may see no wage increases in the new agreement. That’s because the pay for such work is freely bargained; there are no wage scales for such work in the existing agreement. Thus, there’s nothing to increase in the contract, unless the new agreement now has wage scales for such work.
That would be a significant gain for the casting community, but is not expected.
It’s likely that the new agreement includes increases in health contributions, as this was a feature of contracts achieved earlier this year by IATSE and by Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 truck drivers, location managers (also Local 399) and various other workers. Local 399 also represents the CDs (in Los Angeles; New York CDs are repped by Teamsters Local 817), but under a separate contract.
To be effective, the new agreement must now be ratified by the about 500 Los Angeles and New York casting directors covered by the agreement. Ratification meetings will take place in the next several days.
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