TAG’s tentative agreement with the AMPTP on May 24th marked the completion of what I believe have been the longest 839 Master Agreement negotiations in the Local’s history. This was only possible because of the hard work and dedication to the negotiations process that the Negotiations Committee showed. The official Negotiations Committee first met in January of 2021, but the work of its members started much earlier. Each one put in hours and hours of volunteer work in order to make the agreement, and therefore the working lives of all 839 members, better. It was incredible to work with this team of dedicated member leaders, and I feel we achieved the most progress we could have made because of them.
In these negotiations, the Negotiations Committee included members from TAG’s craft and community committees who brought proposals that attempted to make changes that would benefit those groups, as well as members who may not necessarily have written a proposal, but instead wanted to gain experience with the negotiations process and generally support contractual gains. Including a majority of members who came from the committees meant the proposals benefitted from engaged groups who took the time to put in the work of surveying their groups and proposing meaningful changes to the agreement. The Negotiations Committee members remained respectful to each other, open to discussion and debate, and committed to the democratic process of making decisions on how to move forward. This led to lengthy meaningful discussions about how we should respond to various employer positions and responses throughout the negotiations.
The Negotiations Committee members also benefited from being able to connect back to their various craft and community committees with questions about an employer response. This helped include more members than were on the official committee in the decisions on how we responded. This level of member participation was aided by the fact that our negotiations were spread out over the various other negotiations the AMPTP had scheduled alongside ours, and that we were negotiating through Zoom meetings and not in-person at the AMPTP offices in Sherman Oaks.
In these negotiations, we showed the AMPTP an increased level of member engagement they may not have seen before. Our craft and community committee-led social media campaign slogans were echoed by the employers during the discussions, and the New Deal For Animation rally absolutely made an impact.
While I feel we made as much progress as we could during these negotiations, I realize that we did not achieve all of the goals and objectives that the committee began the discussions with. In order to do better in 2024, member engagement has to increase.
TAG-TAG was formed to help spread the word to all active members to support the IATSE Basic Agreement locals should they have to strike to achieve their priority proposals, and succeeded in reaching a third of our membership in a short period of time. TAG-TAG must continue the work of engaging the membership on our priority issues so that members can be informed and aware of how we need their support. TAG-TAG can only do that work if a team of members is willing to put in the time and effort to participate. Please help us keep member engagement high and join TAG-TAG by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am pleased to share that the Negotiations Committee and the Guild’s Executive Board have overwhelmingly voted to support the ratification of this agreement. Please support the work of the committee by committing to casting your ballot in the ratification vote in support of ratification. Then, email email@example.com or reach out to the craft or community committee closest to your job role, passions, and beliefs, and give your time and effort to preparing us for the 2024 negotiations. Growing our strength as a community gives us more power at the negotiations table.