TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- New TV Projects Nabbing California Credits
- Capital & Main: Judging Janus
- Teamster Tuesday with Universal Studios, City Walk, Tram Garage & Valencia Tram Project
- General Membership Meeting Reminder
- 2017 COLA Winners
- Teamsters Local 399 Veterans Program
- Member Spotlight: Casting Professionals Nancy Klopper & Charley Medigovich
- Q & A with Secretary-Treasurer
- 2018 Contract Negotiations
- How to Best Prepare for the Worst
- Events / Announcements
INTRODUCTION BY SECRETARY-TREASURER STEVE DAYAN
2018 will be a busy one for the staff of Local 399. All of our major contracts are expiring this year. Universal Tours, The Black Book, Location Manager and Casting Director contracts will all be re-negotiated this year. Additionally, Local 399, along with the Basic Crafts, DGA, SAG/AFTRA and the IATSE will begin our push to extend our tax incentives beyond 2020.
We have formed Committees for each contract negotiation and will be sending surveys out to the Membership to get your feedback on what changes you’d like to see to the contracts. I strongly encourage all of you to take a few minutes to reflect on what you’d like to achieve in this next contract and complete the online survey so we can discuss your ideas with our committees.
I sincerely hope you are all planning on attending our January General Membership Meeting on January 21, 2018 at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank. We’ll be discussing New Media along with any suggestions the Membership may have regarding our expiring agreements. As you may already know, New Media productions are not covered under the Black Book agreement. We must sign an agreement for every New Media production that’s produced and, while we have gotten better rates on many New Media productions than our sister Unions, the days that Permit Drivers work on these productions do not count toward roster placement, even though those Drivers receive the same rates, benefits and working conditions as on any other type of production. The biggest issue confronting our Members working on New Media is that we are not triggering residuals on those productions. Residuals currently generate 24% of the monies that come into our Pension and Health Plans. Because of the explosive growth of New Media since our last contract negotiation, I believe we must capture those residuals to avoid having to pay increases to our Plans in the form of higher premiums or cuts to our health benefits. We will be discussing these New Media issues and your suggestions for contract proposals at the January meeting so please plan on attending. It will impact the outcome of your negotiations.
This year we will also be working on extending and expanding our Film Tax Incentive Program. Local 399 has committed $75,000.00 to the Entertainment Union Coalition which is comprised of the Basic Crafts, IATSE, SAG/AFTRA and the DGA. More than $500,000.00 has been pledged by the coalition to lobby our elected officials in Sacramento this year. We’ve seen a huge uptick in production as a result of our incentive program and the time has come for us to make certain we are doing everything we can on behalf of our collective memberships. In the coming months, we will be asking you to write and call your elected officials to lobby on our behalf. We need your help this year, more than ever. Please help us, help you!
Unfortunately, there are also dark clouds on the horizon for organized labor in 2018. The Supreme Court will hear the Janus vs. AFSCME case, which may affect all Public-Sector Unions by making dues payments voluntary. It will only be a matter of time before it effects private sector Unions, including all of us. Right-to-Work legislation is still before Congress and the mid-term elections in November will have a profound impact on our local and national politics alike. We will push back on any anti-labor or anti-union legislation but we will need your voice in order to be heard in Sacramento & Washington. 2018 will be a significant year for organized labor and your voice will truly make an important difference.
I am proud of the Veterans Program that was begun at Local 399 in 2016. Since we began our efforts we have slowly begun to successfully place Drivers and Location personnel on productions. We’ve still got a long way to go but we can really make a difference in the lives of our Vets by helping to place them in our industry. If you know of a Veteran who is interested in working in the industry or if you can place a Veteran when we’re into Permits, please contact the front office or give me a call. We can make a difference in the lives of our service men and women!
Thanks to Business Agent Ernie Barraza for instituting Teamster Tuesdays! Every Tuesday, Ernie goes out and visits his barns to promote solidarity within our ranks, and to encourage our Members to wear a Teamster t-shirt, jacket or hat to show the rest of the industry how we feel about being a part of this great Union. I encourage all of you to show your solidarity by wearing something with a 399 logo on Tuesdays!
Local 399 is working to develop a mobile application for your smartphones. The app will have most of the functionality of our website and should make it easier for you to get up to date information from your Union. We will also be revamping our website to make it easier to navigate and update the site in general. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve our website or our smartphone app, please contact Amy Gorton at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There were many natural disasters in 2017. Between the hurricanes that devastated so many parts of our country, to the wildfires that destroyed so many homes and lives in California, we must be prepared when disaster strikes. I encourage all of our Members to take a disaster preparedness class so you will be ready with a plan so your family knows what to do and who to contact when disaster strikes. Please refer to the article on Disaster preparedness in this Newsletter for specifics on being prepared.
2018 will be a defining year for this Local Union and the labor movement. This is the year to get involved in helping us protect the rights of workers. With your help, we can and will make a difference in the lives of all working men and women.
On behalf of all the staff of Local 399, I’d like to wish each of you a very happy and prosperous 2018!