Canadian actors to resume talks Tues.


TORONTO -- Canadian actors and producers on Friday appeared willing to make concessions to get back to the bargaining table as they prepare to meet Tuesday in Toronto.

"The CFTPA is contemplating its position in light of steps required for the industry, and not just for itself," John Barrack, chief negotiator for the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn., said Friday.

Talks on a new indie production agreement between ACTRA, which represents 21,000 domestic performers, American producers, the CFTPA and Quebec producers with the Association de producteurs de films et de television du Quebec (APFTQ) began Oct. 23, but collapsed after the producers urged domestic actors to agree to deep pay cuts and other rollbacks.

ACTRA negotiators immediately reacted by calling for formal mediation and for producers to take their original proposals off the table before bargaining could resume.

But on Friday, ACTRA chief negotiator Stephen Waddell suggested that the CFTPA agreeing to substantial changes to their original proposals could keep the actors at the table beyond Tuesday.

"We'll wait and see what moves they're prepared to make before we consider whether we'll stay," Waddell said.

The current Independent Production Agreement, which governs pay rates and workplace conditions for Canadian actors, expires Dec. 31.

The CFTPA giving ground to the actors follows ACTRA earlier agreeing to meet with the producers Tuesday without a conciliator in the room.

Waddell and Barrack also attended a Thursday meeting Thursday with Film Ontario, an industry group charged with encouraging film and TV production in Ontario.

According to sources at the meeting, Brian Topp, ACTRA Toronto executive director and co-chair of Film Ontario, drew a round of applause when he urged Barrack and Waddell to show goodwill so that the Canadian film and TV industry could continue working together and moving in the same direction.
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