Hollywood's Freelance Casting Directors Make A Pension Deal

The new agreement with the studios provides for a two percent wage increase for associate casting directors.

Thursday night, freelance casting directors ratified an agreement with the studios, Teamsters business agent Steve Dayan told The Hollywood Reporter. The new agreement provides for an increase in pension and health contributions from the employers and a 2% wage increase for associate casting directors.

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Dayan described the 2% figure as "a bit disappointing," but acknowledged that that figure has become the new normal for Hollywood union and guild deals. The increase is not applicable to casting directors themsleves, because the agreement does not specify wage rates for CDs.

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The union has managed to achieve significant increases in P&H rates since the contract's inception in 2006. For feature casting directors, for instance, the rate has risen from $188.25 per week in 2006 to $415.25 in the latest iteration.

The deal was reached September 2 with the studios. The term is one year. That's shorter than the usual 3 years because the IaTSE and basic crafts master agreements expire next July, and the parties wanted an opportunity to revist the CDs' P&H terms after the master deals are renewed.

The new pact does not provide for payments from the studios during pilot season for casting assistants. That had emerged as an issue earlier this year.

Teamsters Local 399 represents LA based casting directors and associate casting directors, while Teamsters Local 817 is the representative in New York.