Recently, a multi-union coalition composed of representatives from the IATSE, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, the Teamsters, and the Hollywood Basic Crafts negotiated a set of return to work policies and protocols in order to provide a unified set of rules to follow for returning the entertainment industry back to work. IATSE President Matthew Loeb entered the negotiations with the intention to create policies that applied to the entire motion picture and television industry in the United States and Canada, and had to fight to achieve that goal. The producers originally intended to keep TAG from being included in this agreement, but relented to President Loeb’s demand to keep us in.
The agreement begins by stating that the employers and the unions agree that preventing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace is of the utmost importance. As part of the agreement, the collective established work zones that correspond to various jobs and their potential level of exposure to COVID. The Animation Guild is considered “Zone D”. As such, the agreement provides many provisions including the following:
- Pre-Employment testing at the employers expense that includes a stipend for time spent away from the studio to get tested.
- As Animation is considered in “Zone D”, no periodic testing during employment is required.
- Employees must complete a daily health assessment survey which may include temperature checks.
- Employers are required to implement steps to limit contact and movement of employees.
- A COVID-19 Compliance Supervisor will be hired to maintain compliance with the policies. This supervisor may be monitoring multiple locations if the studio has such facilities.
- CSATF will develop a COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol training. Review of this material will become a condition of employment. Prior to the development of the COVID-19 Training, employees shall be required to undergo COVID-19 health and safety protocol training developed by each Producer before commencing work in a studio location.
- Employers are required to provide PPE.
- For all eligible COVID-19 events (see RTW protocols summary for more information), employees will receive COVID-19 paid sick leave for up to 10 days.
That is not a complete list, and members are encouraged to review the Return To Work agreement for complete details.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ANIMATION?
At this time, the animation employers have not indicated that they will be returning members to the studios before the end of the year. When members are asked to return, the studios must comply with temporary terms of the Return To Work agreement.
Section 1 (C) of the agreement is an “enabling clause” that allows for the union or the employer to request modifications for specific productions. To ensure that you are aware of what conditions are in place for your studio, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Guild will maintain updated information on each of the studios.