We have many members who till the rocky soil of sports broadcast as their professional world. Their dedication and professionalism is world-renown and often unsung but they perform day in and day out under the most challenging conditions and always deliver.
After many long and arduous months of negotiations, January 2, 2016, through December 20, 2016, we have successfully won an unusually long five-year term contract with Fox Sports and three other regional IATSE Locals creating a four-jurisdiction Master Agreement. Whereas before, we were in separate and stand-alone negotiating periods, we now have dramatically increased our leverage by syncing the contract cycles of these four regions, all together. It is quite an achievement.
The ratification vote passed in all four regions with the LA ratio in favor at almost 2 to 1 with “Yes” votes more than sixty-two percent.
There are several areas that distinguish this agreement from the expired agreements it replaces.
- The travel provisions have been revamped to be more equitable, inclusive of benefits
- Fee adders in the crafts descriptions are now included in the base wages
- A new Employer’s contribution to the IATSE Training Trust is detailed
- Three percent general wage increases each year throughout the life of the Agreement, now uniformly occurring on April 1 of each year; (LA is prorated the first year as the prior increase is already in place for three months)
A lot of work went into getting these four jurisdictions under one agreement. Importantly, it is a very unusual five-year deal providing stability for our members in the very fluid world of live sports broadcasting.
Along with solid leadership from the IA’s Sandra England and Steve Belsky, I’d like to single out the very important contributions made by Local 695 members during this challenging endeavor. A shout-out to Cameron Cheevers, Antony Hurd, Tom Anderson and Edgar Lopez for their informed and steadfast participation during the many negotiating sessions. They contributed beyond their own interests and significantly helped keep the talks on track.
I’d also like to give thanks to Scott Bernard, whose beat this used to be, for his solid guidance during this work. It is a very specialized area for our Local. I believe our members have gotten a very good contract.
Congrats to all.
Mark Ulano CAS AMPS
IATSE Local 695