IATSE deal with studios set for vote

Agreement affects over 20,000 members

This article was corrected on Jan. 13, 2003.

A tentative deal between Hollywood studios and IATSE has been salvaged after a five-week standoff, and the proposal is expected to go out to members later this month.

Pact had originally been concluded in mid-November but fell apart the following week before an agreement was reached two days before Christmas. Negotiators for the union warned the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers that it risked not being able to resume negotiations until June, a month before the current contract expires.

The proposed three-year deal includes average annual increases of 3.3%, 3.5% and 3.8% in wages and benefits; increased hourly contributions to the pension and health plans for the first time in 20 years; maintenance of the qualification and benefit structure of the health plan; increased contributions from 4% to 5% in the Individual Account Plan; and Internet jurisdiction.

Agreement is the largest for the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and affects 19 locals with over 20,000 members.

Tentative agreement has already sparked criticism due to hikes in health plan co-pays; wage freezes on first and second year episodic TV; reduced wages for single-camera half-hour episodics with budgets under $1.25 million and one-hour episodics under $1.85 million; no changes in meal penalties or mileage; and no language to address the health and safety problems created by excessive hours.

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