Toon union members OK deal

Pacts creates hike in wages, health and pension

HOLLYWOOD — Hollywood’s union animators have ratified a three-year contract with studios, with 96% backing the deal.

Pact covers about 1,600 cartoonists, animation writers and technicians and CGI workers between Aug. 1 and July 31, 2006.

The agreement provides a 50 cent-per-hour increase in minimum wage rates in its first year, a 2.5% hike in the second and a 3% increase in the third; improvements in health insurance, pension and individual account plans; a provision automatically to pay dismissal pay with a cap at 150% of scale; hikes in unit script and storyboard benefit contribution rates; and an agreement to implement a new screen credit arbitration procedure.

The hikes in wage, health and pension mirror those in the current IATSE Hollywood Basic Agreement, which was ratified in February and covers over 20,000 employees.

Deal was hammered out in March during a one-day negotiating session led by IATSE prexy Thomas Short with reps of Adelaide Prods., Cartoon Network, Col, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, MGM, RichCrest, Universal and Warner Bros.

Agreement had been unanimously endorsed by the local’s negotiating committee. Three years ago, the negotiating panel recommended 12-1 against ratification; that pact received 83% approval from members.

The local recently won an organizing election at Big Red Dog Prods. and is hopeful that a contract agreement can be reached soon.

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