Deal ups pension and health benefits

Casting directors have ratified one-year successor contract, two weeks before the expiration of the current three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

The casting directors, repped through the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters, announced the ratification Friday. Business rep Steve Dayan of Local 399 of the Teamsters said the pact included a 2% hike in minimums along with gains in the employer pension and health contributions.

The new contract will expire on Sept. 30, 2012 – two months after the expiration of the current pacts covering most below the line crew through the Teamsters (covering more than 3,000 drivers in 13 Western states) and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (covering about 25,000 members in 18 West Coast locals).

The casting directors ratified the one-year deal in meetings Thursday in Los Angeles and New York. The union plans to post details of the new pact on its web site at www.ht399.org in the next several days.

Negotiations for the casting directors concluded on Sept. 2 following five days of talks at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks.

The contract covers about 500 casting directors and associates in Hollywood and New York. The Teamsters were able to obtain the first union contract in 2005 for casting directors following an organizing campaign that lasted three years.

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