The new three-year contract, which now has to be ratified by union members, comes hours before the deadline – Sunday midnight – imposed by IATSE president Matthew Loeb. The union and the AMPTP, led by Carol Lombardini, is expected to make the agreement public very soon.
“It took a long time to get here, but it’s a good deal, a fair deal for everyone involved,” a person familiar with the sometimes tense negotiations told Deadline once all the terms of the final contract were in place. been agreed on Saturday. “It’s time to put out the cigars,” added the individual.
More details to come, but points of agreement include “improved wages and working conditions for streaming”, 10 hour turnaround times between shifts, MLK day is now a public holiday, “diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives”, increased funding for health and pension plans and a 3% rate increase each year for the term of the contract which has not yet been approved, among other changes. AMPTP wanted to set the price increase at around 3% for the first year, then reduce it to 2.5% or even less for the following two years of the contract.
With many of the bigger issues resolved over the weekend, today’s discussions saw IATSE and AMPTP tackle several smaller but vital issues, we hear. Once that was settled, the administrative part had to be taken care of, as the matter was in fact typed up so that everyone could examine it one last time.
Although the tentative deal was reached before the deadline this weekend and things really started to fall into place on Friday noon, the situation remained in a state of flux for almost until the last hours. Union representatives cautioned members against becoming overly optimistic. “Even though we are still at the bargaining table trying to get a deal, as of this writing there are no plans to call off the strike,” an email sent to section members said. local 80 at the end of October 15. updating them on talks and preparations for union action set for 12:01 am on October 18th.
The hotly contested deal came after the last two weeks of intense negotiations, as members prepared to shut down the industry if they had to. The two sides had been discussing intermittently since mid-May. But talks became much more urgent two weeks ago, when members overwhelmingly voted to allow Loeb to call a strike if those ultimate efforts failed to reach an acceptable deal.
On Wednesday, the union boss said studios, networks and streamers are still not taking the union’s demands seriously enough, saying “the pace of negotiations does not reflect any sense of urgency.”
AMPTP, however, has said throughout that it remains “committed to a deal.”
To that end, shortly after the announcement of the result of the 98% strike authorization vote on October 4, industry super lawyer Ken Ziffren, Disney TV boss Peter Rice and former national director CEO Jay Roth joined the talks. The power trio have offered their consul to both sides in a bid to cool the ever-rising temperature in virtual negotiations, with phone calls and Zoom talks flying at breakneck speed in the past 72 hours.
The main goals of the union were decent wages for the lowest paid trades; more run time between working days; actual meal breaks; a bailout of the union’s struggling pension and health plan and a larger share of revenue from streaming shows.
Had the red line been crossed in the early hours of Monday, a nationwide strike would have been the first of 60,000 IATSE members in its 128-year history.
Now Hollywood will return to work on Monday. In addition, union members will be heading to the polls in the coming days to give or deny approval to today’s deal.