Members of the IATSE ratified the Basic Agreement of 2003 by an overwhelming majority, it was announced by Thomas C. Short, International President. Final totals were 7,557 for and 1,848 against, reflecting a percentage of better than 80% in favor of ratification. The three-year deal guarantees an increase in wages, health plan contributions, and the pension fund. In addition, the contract provides for an increase in the contribution to the Individual Account Plan and extends jurisdiction over the Internet. Set to take effect on August 1, 2003, the pact covers production personnel in motion pictures and television.
The IATSE achieved gains in wages, and employer health and pension plan contributions at a time when the United States is facing rising health care costs and corporate pension instability.
Terms of the agreement are:
Wage increases to start August 3, 2003 include a fifty cent ($.50) per hour increase, with a two and one-half percent (2.5%) increase effective August 1, 2004 and three percent (3%) effective July 31, 2005 with the later two increases being compounded.
On-call increases to include benefit contributions to be augmented for 60 hours per five-day work week, 67 hours per six day work week and 75 hours per seven day work week.
Pension Plan increases include:
Twenty-five cents (¢25) per hour increase effective August 3, 2003
Additional fifteen cents (¢15) per hour effective August 1, 2004
Additional ten cents (¢10) per hour effective July 31, 2005
Those increases will be used to fund the following in pension plan benefits:
To be adopted during the first quarter of 2006, a retroactive pension increase of a minimum of 7.5% and a maximum of 15% for active participants as of August 1, 2003.
For the first two years of the contract, participants who retire prior to August 1, 2003 will receive a thirteenth and fourteenth check on or about November 1st of each year, provided there is an eight (8) month reserve in the Retired employees Fund.
In the third year of the contract, a thirteenth and fourteenth check will be issued to participants retired prior to August 1, 2003, provided there is an eight (8) month reserve in both the Active Health Fund and the Retired employees Fund.
Individual Account Plan increases include:
An increase of the regular hourly rate from the current four percent (4%) to four and one-half percent (4.5%), effective August 1, 2004 and another increase to five percent (5%), effective July 31, 2005.
Health Plan increases include:
Beginning August 3, 2003, contributions to be increased by twenty cents an hour (¢20) for active employees and five cents an hour (¢5) for retirees.
Eliminate the limitations on hospital stays.
Health Plan changes designed to save over $54 million over the next three years include:
Increased prescription drug coverage to $10 for generic, $15 for brand name, $25 for super brand names, for a 30 day supply retail; and $20 for generic, $30 for brand name, $36 for super brand names, for a 90 day supply mail order.
Increased prescription coverage for retirees to $3 for generic, $5 for brand names, for 30 day supply retail; and $6 for generic, $10 for brand names, for a 90 day supply mail order.
Reduced chiropractic and acupuncture visits to 20 annual visits each.
Coordinated spousal coverage.
Internet terms provide for residuals to the Pension & Health Plans on product produced under the Basic Agreement for supplementary exhibition on the Internet. In addition, individual producers will provide information to the IATSE on product made for the Internet as the primary market with negotiation to apply an IATSE agreement on recognition and terms, specifically coverage as to Pension & Health benefits.