TOLUCA LAKE – International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) Local 839, the Animation Guild and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts representing more than 2000 members in television and film animation production, have drawn up a new three-year agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The new agreement, which takes effect August 1, 2006 and runs through July 31, 2009, mirrors much of the Hollywood Basic Agreement ratified last week and includes similar substantial wage increases.
Benefit gains include increases of .5% in the second year and .5% in the third year in the Individual Account Plan (IAP) and a 25-cent-per-hour increase in contributions to the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.
Increased contributions to the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan include an additional 25 cents per hour, allowing for the continuation of health care premiums to be paid 100% by the employer.
Most notably, the deal includes substantially increased benefit contributions for freelance animation writers designed to allow these freelancers to qualify more easily for health insurance, pension, and other benefits.
“It is a good contract for all parties and I expect overwhelming approval from the membership,” said Kevin Koch, President of the Animation Guild IATSE Local 839, who was assisted in the negotiation by Steve Hulett, Business Representative of the local, IATSE Vice-Presidents Matthew Loeb and Michael F. Miller, and IATSE International Representative Steve Aredas. The producers were represented by executives from Adelaide Productions, Cartoon Network, Columbia, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. Animation.
“The producers were responsive to our arguments,” said International Vice President Loeb. “They especially understood the need to find a formula for free‑lance animation writers to qualify for health and pension benefits, which required a nearly 50% increase in contributions on their part.”
“Everyone in this negotiation was professional and cooperative,” said Animation Guild Local 839 Business Representative Steve Hulett. “I give credit for this to everyone from IATSE and the producer representatives, especially Carol Lombardini from the AMPTP.”