FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31st, 2024
IATSE, TEAMSTERS & HOLLYWOOD BASIC CRAFTS TO JOINTLY NEGOTIATE MPIPHP BENEFITS WITH AMPTP
For the first time since 1988, IATSE, Teamsters, IBEW, OPCMIA, UA and LiUNA! will bargain pension and health benefits together with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP).
Los Angeles –The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Hollywood Basic Crafts, which includes Teamsters Local 399, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 40 (IBEW), Laborers International Union of North America Local 724 (LiUNA!), United Association Plumbers Local 78 (UA) and Operating Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association (OPCMIA) Local 755, announced today that they will be jointly bargaining their shared Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan proposals in the 2024 bargaining cycle with the AMPTP.
While the unions have observed each other’s negotiations at the table, this will be the first time since 1988 that the unions will be directly collaborating on key contract provisions that address retirement and health benefits.
Historically, negotiations for the IATSE Hollywood Basic Agreement and the IATSE Area Standard Agreement preceded the Hollywood Basic Crafts’ negotiations with the AMPTP. This year, IATSE, the Hollywood Basic Crafts will begin bargaining for The Motion Picture Pension and Health Plan (MPIPHP or MPI) benefits together the first week of March. From there, IATSE will continue negotiations of these contracts and local union specific issues. Teamsters and Hollywood Basic Crafts are expected to bargain with the AMPTP in early June for their Local classification specific issues.
The Motion Picture Pension and Health Plan serves more than 75,000 active and retiree participants. The Plans are governed by separate Boards of Directors appointed in equal number by the participating unions and employers.
“Our benefit plans remain at the forefront of members’ minds. Though the plans took a hit financially due to work stoppages prolonged by the employers in 2023 as well as the pandemic work stoppage in 2020, the trustees of the plan knew funds spent to ensure continuity of workers’ health and retirement benefits was money well spent,” said IATSE VP Michael Miller. “It’s important for our unions to be on the same page as we collaboratively negotiate for the plans not only because sustainable benefits is a shared priority of our memberships, but also because recent hardships have brought behind-the-scenes crews together in historic fashion.”
Securing additional streaming-based funding mechanisms for the plans, increasing retirement accrual rates, and fighting off any and all cuts to health coverage will be key issues the Unions will address, among others. Unlike the WGA, DGA, and SAG-AFTRA agreements, residuals are not paid directly to crew members as a form of direct compensation, but instead serve as a funding mechanism for the shared Motion Picture Pension and Health Plans. Last year, the MPIPHP Board of Directors voted on multiple programs to support crew members during the industry shutdown, including IAP Hardship Withdrawals, topping off healthcare hours for participant eligibility and no-cost COBRA. While these measures came with cost to the plans, they ultimately supported participant members through the work stoppages.
“Our members are the backbone of production,” said Lindsay Dougherty, Teamsters Local 399 Principal Officer, and Chairperson of the Hollywood Basic Crafts. “They give their blood, sweat and tears to this industry. They are owed the ability to retire with dignity and have the stability of plan funding to protect and increase benefits. Fighting alongside IATSE on shared MPIPHP benefits will not only support all Hollywood crewmembers, but also remind the employers that when they can’t divide us, they should fear us. Nothing moves without the crew.”
It should be noted that in addition to collaborating on negotiations pertaining to the MPIPHP Benefits, IATSE, Teamsters and the Hollywood Basic Crafts also have unique and distinct craft-specific issues the employers must ultimately address in negotiations with each union. In other words, while these unions will collaborate on shared benefits, IATSE’s Negotiating Committees will not be negotiating the terms and conditions for Teamsters or the Basic Crafts’ agreements, and the Teamsters’ and Basic Crafts’ Negotiating Committees will not be negotiating terms and conditions for IATSE’s agreements.
IATSE’s agreements along with the Teamsters ‘Black Book’ and Location Manager Agreement, and Hollywood Basic Crafts agreements all expire on July 31st, 2024.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 170,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit iatse.net
ABOUT TEAMSTERS LOCAL 399
Teamsters Local 399 represents 6,500 members in the Motion Picture Industry in California and New Mexico including drivers, animal trainers/handlers, wranglers, dispatchers, DOT admins, location professionals, casting professionals, chef assistants, mechanics, auto service, warehouse workers and more.
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD BASIC CRAFTS
The Hollywood Basic Crafts is comprised of Teamsters Local 399, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 40, Laborers International Union of North America Local 724, United Association Plumbers Local 78 and Operating Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association (OPCMIA) Local 755, collectively represent close to 8,000 members working in the Entertainment Industry. This coalition represents a range of classifications from drivers, electricians, catering, laborers, cement masons, plumbers, animal trainers /wranglers and more who all service the Motion Picture and Television Industry.