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IATSE Members Petition For Greater Transparency On Contract Proposals

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All remains quiet on the negotiating front as IATSE seeks to wrap talks on the Basic Agreement by Thursday.

But while the union appears to be making continued progress with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, it may be losing goodwill among its own members.

Currently, members have been circulating a petition urging leadership to agree to “updating members regularly with a detailed list of IATSE’s local and general proposals and the AMPTP’s responses, from now until the end of negotiations.”

So far, the union hasn’t appeared to hit any major roadblocks in its talks with the studios, even as the union broaches previously contentious topics including artificial intelligence and streaming residuals. Bargaining for the Basic Agreement is set to end on May 16. Sources tell Deadline that is still the plan, as of Monday, indicating that ongoing talks are running smoothly.

However, leadership has been tight-lipped about the state of negotiations, issuing brief memos to members at the end of each week.

On Friday, IATSE said in a memo that the week’s proposals included AI, wages and working conditions, subcontracting, the Videotape Agreement and Side Letters — but it failed to give details on any of those proposals.

A union source tells Deadline that “AI discussions have been productive, but there’s still work to be done.”

While all indications seem positive, rank-and-file members appear to be disgruntled with a lack of information surrounding the negotiations. The petition argues “most IATSE members still aren’t being given detailed information about their local’s contract proposals and the AMPTP’s counter-proposals.”

Concerns about the state of this year’s negotiations have been on the minds of members as well as IASTE leadership, sources have confirmed. Specifically, union officials desperately want to avoid the close vote and divisions that scarred the last contract ratification.

While membership did ultimately ratify the 2021 deal, the results were much closer than usual. Union leadership suffered a particularly harsh rebuke as L.A. locals rejected the deal in the popular vote.

“Without real changes to the negotiation’s transparency we are at risk of getting another undemocratically chosen, unpopular contract,” the Petition, which has been signed by more than 100 people, states.

IATSE kicked off bargaining in March, linking arms with Teamsters Local 399 and the rest of the Hollywood Basic Crafts to discuss Health and pension plans. The union then entered several weeks of negotiations on the local-specific areas of its contract. Operating under a new strategy where multiple locals were negotiating at the same time, that process seemingly did not encounter any major setbacks.

General negotiations on the Basic Agreement proceeded as planned on April 29. At the time, IATSE did issue a memo to members laying out some details from its initial contract proposal to the studios, including wage increases and residual funding for the Health and pension plan, as well as protections against artificial intelligence.

The union has not issued any updated information on subsequent counterproposals made during negotiations.

Following the Basic Agreement, IATSE will turn attention to its Area Standards Agreement, which covers 23 additional IATSE locals across the U.S.

Deadline has reached out to IATSE for a statement regarding the Petition and the union’s plans for transparency moving forward. This post will be updated when the union responds.

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