Hollywood Inks Tentative Deal With Actors in British Columbia

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A view of Vancouver, Canada

The new three-year deal includes a 6 percent rate increase for local performers.

Hollywood and local producers and actors in British Columbia have shaken hands on a new labor deal for the westernmost Canadian province.

The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, have reached a tentative deal with the Union of British Columbia Performers/ACTRA on a new B.C. Master Production Agreement.

Details of the new pact on pay rates and workplace conditions for provincial actors, to run through 2018, call for a 6 percent rate increase over the new three year term. The agreement also comes during boom times for film and TV production in and around Vancouver.

The province has played host to recent Hollywood movies shoots like Fifty Shades of Grey and Tim Burton's Big Eyes, and production on U.S. network series like The 100, Arrow, Falling Skies, The Returned, Supernatural and Once Upon a Time.

The B.C. labor deal, still to be ratified, was reached in record time. Talks between producers and actors started on Feb. 9, ahead of the current B.C. Master Production Agreement expiring on March 31, 2015.

"I am very happy we were able to reach an agreement before the deadline. This means our members will get the raise they so richly deserve, and they will have better working conditions," UBCP/ACTRA president Alvin Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.

The UBCP has a separate labor agreement in British Columbia. In the rest of Canada, ACTRA will launch negotiations with Hollywood and Canadian producers in the fall on a new Independent Production Agreement.

The current IPA, covering all movie, TV and new media production in Canada outside of B.C., expires on Dec. 31, 2015. "At a time when employers are demanding concessions and wage roll-backs, B.C. members will see a pay increase and stronger contract language," Stephen Waddell, chief negotiator and national executive director of ACTRA, said in a statement about the new B.C. labor deal.

UBCP/ACTRA members will vote over the next month on the terms of the new agreement. Once ratified, the new deal will take effect on April 1, 2015.