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IATSE and AMPTP Negotiated West Coast Videotape Agreement

In mid-October, the IA and the AMPTP completed negotiations for the 1996 West Coast Videotape Agreement.  The four year agreement was effective September 29, 1996 through September 30, 2000.  The wage increases, Health and Pension benefits and full maintenance of Benefits for the term of the Agreement are the same as provided in the 1996 Basic Agreement. The contributions to the Individual Account Plan, in addition to the current producer payment of 30.5 cents per hour, were I% of salaries on contract scales rates, effective September 29, 1996, 2% effective May 31, 1998 and 3% effective August 1, 1999.

There was a new provision on minimum calls limited to reality, informational, and entertainment magazine shows.  Further, the language on the 12 minute grace period on meal periods was the same as the 1996 Basic Agreement.  Travel Insurance in the Videotape and Film Agreement was increased to $200,000.  The Agreement was approved unanimously by the representatives of the 22 IATSE Local Unions who participated in the negotiations with a recommendation that their members vote for ratification.

In 1996, IATSE successfully defeated efforts by Local 644 to block the merger of Locals 644, 659, and 666 into one local camera with nationwide jurisdiction.  The court ruled that the merger efforts were not initiated in bad faith or for the purpose of retaliating against Local 644 and will not adversely affect the rights of Local 644.  The court observed that evidence presented during the hearing “underscore[s] the wisdom of President Short’s decision to merge the camera locals.”  The court also noted that as an affiliated local of the IATSE, Local 664 is necessarily subject to the IATSE Constitution containing an involuntary merger clause.