IATSE and the studios reach a new contract
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that averts a potential showdown with the major studios.
IATSE represents more than 100,000 entertainment industry workers, including camera operators, set decorators, grips and others who work behind the scenes on movies and TV shows.
Under the proposed agreement, IATSE members would receive 2% annual wage increase over three years -- in line with raises negotiated by other entertainment unions . Employers agreed to increase by 20% their hourly their contribution to the union's health plan.
"Our goals going into these negotiations have been met,'' IATSE President Matt Loeb said in a statement. "We were successful in maintaining the pensions of our retirees."
Members with dependents, however, would also be required for the first time to pay premiums between $25 and $50 a month for healthcare coverage, said on person familiar with the deal.
The union agree to the concession as way to help close a large deficit in the union's health and pension plans - projected to be more than $350 million over the next three years because of rising investment losses and medical costs. The two sides have been sharply divided over how to close the deficit.
IATSE also expanded to expand the so-called 30 mile zone in Los Angeles -- the area that determines work rules and rates paid to union members -- to include Agua Dulce and Pomona, among other locations.
If ratified by members, the new three-year contract that takes effects July 31.
Photo: Matt Loeb, head of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, at the union's office in Studio City in 2011. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times