AUSTIN, Tx. – The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) and IATSE Local 205 have the Austin Lyric Opera singing “union” with the successful conclusion January 16 of an organizing drive that began early in 2005 when stage employees of the Austin Lyric Opera signed authorization cards and the local filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The NLRB ordered an election last April and, after a vote of 19 to 0, the union was certified as the bargaining agent of all stage and shop employees of the Austin Lyric Opera. International Representative Joel Youngerman was assigned by International President Thomas C. Short to assist the local with negotiations and, after six months of bargaining, a tentative agreement was reached.
On January 16, members of IATSE Local 205 ratified the contract that runs through June 2009. The agreement covers stage carpentry and electrics, sound, wardrobe, hair and make-up, properties, and all shop employees including carpenters, painters, prop artisans, and costumers. The agreement provides wage increases, health benefits, overtime pay, holiday pay, meal and turnaround penalty premiums, and secures wage parity with the stagehands for the wardrobe and hair & makeup departments.
For over 90 years, IATSE Local 205 has been serving the Austin area as the labor union representing technicians, artisans and crafts persons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, concert, and convention events. IATSE Local 205 is the area’s source for professional and experienced personnel, including stagehands; scenic carpenters; properties personnel; projectionists, riggers; wardrobe personnel; wigs, hair and makeup specialists; lighting technicians; sound technicians; audio/visual technicians; camera operators; and decorators.