Solidarity & Mobilization

Dates are set for TAG negotiations!

After a substantial delay, The Animation Guild will meet with the AMPTP to continue bargaining our Master Agreement on Feb. 14. The Negotiations Committee continues to dedicate substantial time and energy to prepare. Here, please find some answers to frequently asked questions.

Contracts Negotiations FAQs

  • What are negotiations?

    Negotiations are the process of establishing and agreeing upon a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with employers. These agreements stipulate minimum wages, hours, working conditions, and benefits, and The Animation Guild negotiates its Master Agreement every three years. 

    Having a CBA with a limited term is beneficial to us because it gives us time to figure out what parts of the CBA are working and what needs to be revised. When parts of the CBA need revisions, the Negotiations Committee can write proposals to change them.

    We bargain for these changes with the employers during negotiations, and the “wants” of the membership are pitted against what employers are willing to provide. The negotiations process requires both parties to be willing to compromise and bargain in “good faith” toward a resolution. Negotiating individually can be difficult, but negotiating a base agreement collectively means that our ability to achieve our demands is stronger.

  • What is the Negotiations Committee?

    The Negotiations Committee is a team of engaged Guild members and committee leaders who volunteer to research and write the proposals that will be brought to negotiations. They help supply the data and arguments used to support different proposals during negotiations with the employers.

    For this term, the Negotiations Committee has about 50 members, many of whom have been meeting regularly with members of their crafts for more than two years. One of the goals of the negotiations committee is to represent the breadth and diversity of our membership. Volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, and bring the concerns and varied voices of the membership to the negotiation table.

    Constitutionally, our Business Representative Steve Kaplan chairs the committee and provides his insights on how negotiations work; however, the ultimate deciding voices are the committee members.

  • How does the Negotiations Committee prepare for negotiations?

    The Negotiations Committee is made up of membership committee members and engaged members who have committed to preparing proposals to bring to the discussions with the employers. These subcommittees are where the bulk of the work is done.

    • In many cases, these subcommittees and craft committees have been meeting for more than a year to two years to gather data and prepare for negotiations.
    • At each meeting, the Negotiations Committee reviews the various negotiations proposals and changes that have been made. Committee members have a chance to weigh in on each proposal, either to voice support or to suggest changes to strengthen proposals.
    • The goal of the committee is to build the best proposals possible to serve the Guild Membership.
    • Often, various subcommittees collaborate to also help craft the strongest proposals possible.
  • How do we share proposals?

    Shortly before negotiations, we send a list of our proposals to the employers. It is prudent not to reveal details of these proposals until they have undergone a rigorous process of revision and fine tuning, which is why we do not share them before this point.

    Once the proposals are polished, however, there are some advantages to sharing the list before walking into the negotiation room. Sharing the proposals allows employers to begin to consider the details of what we will be asking ahead of time, which makes the negotiation process more efficient. There will not be as many delays while they take time to gather needed information on the issues.

    Employers reciprocate the gesture in good faith by sharing their proposals in turn. The Guild will also be able to enter the negotiations room informed, and able to address the details of the employers’ proposals.

  • What do the employers want during negotiations? What is the process of agreement?

    Last year, the Negotiations Committee held several Town Halls in preparation for contract negotiations to help inform the members better. Click here to learn more about what the employers want, what happens in the negotiation room, and what’s the process to reach an agreement.

  • What happens if the Guild and the employers can’t reach an agreement?

    The process of negotiations between a union and employers follows a legal process. When two parties cannot reach an agreement and cannot make any further progress in discussions, they reach what is called “impasse.” A lot of back and forth discussion must happen before negotiations can reach a point that would be called impasse, and reaching this point would not happen suddenly or unexpectedly.

    When negotiations have stalled, either side has the option to request third-party mediation from federal or state mediation bodies. These third parties can act to restore negotiations that are approaching an impasse to a place that is acceptable for both parties. Both sides must agree in order for a third party to mediate.

    Prior to reaching impasse, employers issue a “last, best, and final offer,” a specific type of legally binding agreement offer. Employers are legally required to implement the terms of this offer in full moving forward, even if the union does not ultimately accept the offer.

    If negotiations have reached a point of impasse, a union might regroup and discuss with its membership how best to proceed and make decisions about its next steps accordingly. At this point, the Negotiations Committee and Guild leadership would reach out to the membership to review priorities and discuss strategies on how to proceed, which could include overt membership actions.