News & Announcements

POLITICS

75th Annual District 2 Convention

The 75th Annual IATSE District 2 Convention was held at the Sheraton Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, June 2019. District 2 represents forty-nine locals, more than fifty-three thousand I.A. members from a variety of crafts with jurisdiction in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Every year, elected officers and delegates from these four states meet to strategize activism and political legislation. Our five elected delegates spent four days networking with other locals in the West Coast Bargaining Group under the IATSE Basic Agreement.



Throughout the conference, our Local 695 delegates chaired and joined individual committees, including Constitution & Bylaws, Financial, Education, Safety & the Resolution Committee.

Scott Bernard, Business Representative, chaired the Constitution & Bylaws Committee in 2019. Joe Aredas, Assistant BA and Field Representative, participated in the Financial Committee. Devendra Cleary CAS, Executive Board, sat on the Safety Committee, where he discussed health hazards and long-term ergonomic injuries of working excessively long hours. Chris Howland CAS, Sergeant-at-Arms, took part in the Education Committee’s discussion on how to organize and provide support to crews on strike.



Jennifer Winslow, Trustee, joined the Resolutions Committee. Together, the committee passed thirteen resolutions expanding the coverage for reproductive care, improving the memberships’ understanding of the health and pension plans, making sure that emergency medical care includes “in-network” services (California Assembly Bill 1611), ensuring members who work out-of-state and need medical care can draw from the California State Disability Insurance program (Senate Bill 271), and to promoting committees that support LGBTQ issues.

A resolution submitted by Local 600, ensures that District 2 “will actively participate in an internal campaign to educate members about their benefit plans, including information about the funding sources and status of the plans.”

IATSE President Matt Loeb reported on the contracts ratified by IATSE nationwide in 2018, including the Basic Agreement in Los Angeles. “This is the greatest union in the American labor movement,” said Loeb. “And that’s because of all of you and all your members who buy in, who stand together, who fight for what’s right. That’s what brings this organization the power to help the working families that we’ve obligated ourselves to represent.”

Loeb’s address to the convention mentioned the rapid expansion of the streaming industry. “We’ve got Netflix now with almost two hundred new projects,” he said. “Amazon, YouTube, and Hulu combined have another almost two hundred productions slated. All this production means increased hours into our health and pension plans, more residual payments and, of course, jobs for our people.”

Our delegates proudly represented Local 695 at this year’s convention and reported their progress at the monthly Board of Directors meeting in June 2019.

“I really enjoy attending D2. Every time I attend, I meet new delegates and enjoy putting a face to some of the representatives our Local deals with day-to-day on various contract issues.” said Joe Aredas

“Despite the beautiful setting of this year’s conference in Hawaii and the island spirit that flourished on social media outlets, I must emphasize the importance of the work that was done. The three days we spent in the convention hall were scheduled to the brim with officer training, speeches and committee sessions; concluding in after-hour networking and solidarity events. However, beautiful the setting was, the resolutions we passed are crucial to the health and well-being of more than fifty-three thousand IATSE members in the Western United States and provide a fundamentally important setup for the coming round of contract negotiations in 2021,” said Devendra Cleary.

For detailed information about the 75th Annual District 2 Convention, please contact the Local 695 office.

IATSE Local 695
5439 Cahuenga Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 985-9204
(818) 760-4681 fax
info@local695.com
local695.com


NEW MEMBERS

Local 695 welcomes its new members

Tyler Bender    Y-1
Chris Formanek    Y-3
Yohannes Skoda    Y-7A
Dwight Schneider    Y-4
Robert W. Naughton    A2
Angel Cifuentes    Y-7A
Wm. Gray Thomas-Sowers    Y-1
Mike Skrzat    Proj.
Michael McGrath    Y-1
Daniel A. Lira    Y-3 Jose Smith Jr.    A2


COMMUNITY

Heartbeat of Hollywood Lite

The 9th Annual Heartbeat of Hollywood Lite was held on Monday, June 3, 2019, at Castle Park in Sherman Oaks. Every year, Local 695 co-sponsors this vital fundraiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF). We would like to thank Jennifer Winslow (Trustee), Ed Moskowitz CAS  (Board of Directors), and Cindy Vivar (Administrative Assistant) for proudly representing Local 695 in this year’s competition.

                                    

What Is MPTF?

In 1921, cinema pioneers created MPTF (then the Motion Picture Relief Fund) to act as a safety net of health and social services. Many workers in our business don’t always know where their next paycheck will come from, thus MPTF was created by Hollywood’s earliest entertainment luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith. Having realized the need for reaching out to those in the entertainment industry who fell upon hard times, it began with a simple coin box in Hollywood where entertainment industry workers would deposit spare change for fellow colleagues.

Today, with the engagement and generosity of thousands of people from within the entertainment industry, the fund serves more than 150,000 people each year with healthcare, services, and retirement living.

MPTF belongs to everyone in the entertainment business and our successes are embodied in the spirit of stepping up and giving back—just as the founders envisioned.

For more information, please visit mptf.com

MPTF—Motion Picture & Television Fund
The Wasserman Campus
23388 Mulholland Drive
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

M–F, 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays,
9 AM – 4 PM
Toll-free | (855) 760-MPTF (6783)
Donor Relations | (818) 876-1977
Email us at info@mptf.com


Attending the 75th Annual District 2 Convention

by Jennifer Winslow


I was honored to attend my first IATSE District 2 Convention and represent Local 695. I was impressed by the solidarity in the room, and that despite our differences, we all came together to meet for a common goal.

The five delegates from 695 sat front and center, right next to the microphone! (Thanks to Scott Bernard.) We were all welcomed with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, and then the serious business began.

The first speaker was Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, California Federation of Labor, who spoke on multiple assembly bills and how they could affect workers. One is aimed at dismantling the less-than-minimum-wage “gig economy.” He summarized Assembly Bill AB 5 and State Bill SB 271. Two potential laws that will help laborers,  especially in this economy.

Erika Dinkel-Smith was another impressive speaker, a lobbyist for the IATSE in Washington, D.C. She spoke about the Political Action Committee (PAC) and the importance of their work on Capitol Hill. She was dynamic and passionate about her role and position and, in my opinion, we are lucky she is part of our team.

During this three-day Convention, all of the speakers stressed the importance of strong labor unions, urging members and their leaders to continue pushing forward with our political involvement.

There was a timely speech by Malia Arrington, who talked about all forms of harassment, not just sexual harassment in the workplace. She informed us of steps being taken by “The Hollywood Commission,” spearheaded by Kathleen Kennedy and chaired by Anita Hill, to devise a protocol to replace the current gaps in protection of those who fall into this category. She reported that due to the “fluid nature” of our business, there isn’t a real protocol. There is a new “Report and Response System” being put in place industry-wide. Melia stated for there to be true safety from harassment in the workplace, a code of conduct, training, education, and practices are essential.

She stressed that “Systematic Cultural Change” takes time, however, this is a strong beginning and serious steps are being taken to protect workers in all aspects of the industry. Her speech was pretty heavy stuff, but ultimately, by continuing the discussion, we will all be able to recognize bad behavior when it happens, and step in to stop it before it causes any harm, as in the past.

At the end of the day, I was filled with information and exhausted.

On Day 2, IATSE President Matt Loeb took to the podium, you could hear a pin drop! He updated us on the work the International is doing in Washington, D.C., on behalf of labor, which is too extensive to elaborate in this column.

I was placed on the Resolutions Committee, to suggest new resolutions for the IATSE to implement. We were a group of about thirty-five, where we discussed, and then our committee voted on thirteen resolutions. We passed most of the resolutions, combining two and sending one back to the drawing board.

One of them was creating gender neutral language in the Constitution, and another was on healthcare; educating members about their health plans.

After this long day, we were treated to a fabulous luau at The Royal Hawaiian Garden, generously put together by our sisters and brothers of Hawaii Local 665. I got to try some new (to me) Hawaiian food, chat with fellow delegates, hear great live music, and see Polynesian fire dancers. But the most fun was watching our leaders try to hula. Scott and Joe were great sports!

Overall, the camaraderie and unity of the delegates from four very different states that comprised District 2 was remarkable. The powerful messages and the goals of this Convention will not be forgotten. We came together, in solidarity to empower workers and continue the fight to make unions stronger, especially in this anti-labor political climate.

The District 2 Convention was such a memorable and valuable experience for me personally, as a Local 695 member, an Officer of our Board of Directors, and as a Trustee. I definitely feel that my participation at the Convention has helped me to become a better leader and increased my ability to serve the membership.

I would urge every member to run as a delegate and attend a District 2 Convention.


IN MEMORIAM

Theodor Schelling
Y-7
March 22, 1948 – April 27, 2019

Stephen Dickhute
proj.
June 1, 1950 – April 2, 2019

Peter A. San Filipo
Y-1
August 12, 1931 – April 15, 2019

Dean Champlin
proj.
October 26, 1969 – July 8, 2019