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The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has reached a three-year deal on its Hollywood Basic Agreement with studios and networks, more than seven months before expiration of the current pact.

The tentative deal, which must be ratified by members, covers 30,000 below-the-line employees and 18 West Coast locals. Ratification ballots will be sent out in a month.

IATSE negotiators reached the deal late Friday with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers after two weeks of bargaining.

Early timing of the deal is typical for IATSE. Advocates of reaching agreements long before contracts expire contend that employers are more likely to include the best possible terms at that point in exchange for stability.

“Concluding a new contract half a year before the current contract expires allows producers to anticipate labor costs well in advance of production and serves to avoid a ramping-up of production in anticipation of a labor dispute,” the union said in a statement.

Knowledgeable sources said IATSE president Tom Short had told the AMPTP the union would walk away from talks if a deal was not reached by Friday and would not return until June.

Terms of the deal include:

  • Wage hikes of 75¢ per hour in the first year and 3% in the second and third years.

  • Hikes of 0.5% in the second year and 0.5% in contributions to the Individual Account Plan.

  • Increased pension income for retirees along with hikes in contributions to the health plan and defined benefit pension plan.