For the last 5 years, Color Designers have been actively fighting to be paid equitably alongside the rest of their design peers within a studio system that does not believe in equality. Our path to pay equity began in 2018 with a title change and a shortened wage schedule. This year we traveled further down this path thanks to your solidarity, with the inclusion of a guaranteed rate of 15% above Journey minimum for Color Design Supervisors and by narrowing the pay gap between Color Designers and the rest of the design crafts by 1/3. Additionally, at the producers’ request, the first semblance of a job description will be added in writing by outlining that anyone who applies color to a background must be paid the Background rate.
Furthermore, the Negotiations Committee maintains that the placement of the Color Designer category under the Ink and Paint section of the contract is outdated and does not reflect the reality that Color Designers work in tandem with the other design crafts who are listed under the Animation Section of the contract. The producers agreed to move the Color Designer category out of Ink and Paint, but further discussions will need to take place to confirm where exactly their new home will be once the contract is printed.
I want to end by saying that I hesitate to frame these gains for Color Designers as “increases.” This isn’t about a pay day for members in one craft. This is about restitution for wages that have been withheld from a category of worker in our Union because of their identity. And I’m proud that our Union is finally taking meaningful strides in correcting this long-standing injustice.