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Helmers ink a producer pact in B.C.

New contract includes a 3% wage increase each year

The Directors Guild of Canada’s British Columbia branch has signed a three-year agreement with the province’s producers, leaving the Union of B.C. Performers as the last major film and TV org here yet to settle.

The new contract with the B.C. producers’ branch of the Canadian Film & Television Production Assn. and the Canadian affiliates of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers includes a 3% wage increase each year, as well as a 0.5% fringe increase in the second and third year. It expires in April 2009.

Locals repping the technicians and camera crews and the Teamsters local signed a three-year contact in March.

The Directors Guild also agreed to discounted rates for low-budget features, cable and syndicated TV productions and Canadian feature and TV productions. Guild expects the move to stimulate growth in the rejuvenated British Columbia industry, which is working at near capacity with runaway productions from Hollywood this summer.

The agreement between the Directors Guild and the producers is the fourth since 1996, when the parties first negotiated in an effort to provide stability in the industry in B.C., which has Canada’s highest percentage of unionized workers.

The British Columbia branch of the guild represents about 900 members.