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wolfvid

union minimums $ payrates

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The union will not post here nor do they read this board. They are mired deep in fear and paranoia. So this is from me (free form all fear, paranoia and obligations as I am no longer dues paying):

The Commercial Contract has only two Pay Scales for Local 695

members. There is a minimum call of 8 hours but most folks work on a 12 hr guarantee (higher than the minimum). The current classifications are:

Sound Mixer...... .......$66.33/hr

Boom Oper....... ......$44.78/hr

Sound Utility...... ......$44.78/hr

VTR/Video Playback... .$44.78/hr

The 44.78 rate goes up to 45.68 on Oct 1 2011.

For 12 hr 44.78 x 14 = 626.92 that's 4 hr at 1.5 time ( the deal is usually for 650 for 12) for video assist

The 66.33 mixer rate goes up to 67.66 on Oct 1 2011. 66.33x11=729.63 mixers are hired mostly for 10 hrs minimum.

It would be a breach of the contract to hire someone to perform Local 695 work no matter what you call him/her and pay less than the rates for the above positions on commercials. So VTR assistants have to get the same rate as the 1st operator. Contract breaches are trouble for the hiring Company rarely for the individual. Personally I don't know of any commercial Companies getting busted for anything and the results of any breaches are usually kept secret. (Don't ask me why)

There are no Y-7, Y-9 etc in the commercial contract. Those jobs and rates exist only under the "basic" which applies to features and TV. On commercials are only the job descriptions with the hourly rates that I quoted above.

Of course the company can always call the local and ask for special arrangements. I doubt if those will be given on a commercial. Special arrangements either officially or unofficially are being given a lot on features mainly by the IA international. The worst deals are the so called web-isodes. here the union will not set or negotiate rates at all only demands H+W.

The "basic" rates for feature and TV are as of August 1 2011

Y-4 … 50.43 with 9 hour minimum

If you want to know the rates and overtime officially go to 695.com as a member you can get a password and look at all the contracts that have the rates buried in them. You can also call the local and talk to one of the organizers: Dean or Scott or the BA Jim Osborne: USA 818 985-9204.

Any questions don't call me and for wrong info don't blame me either wolf

Useful: http://www.695.com/html/edu-arts.html

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This is (part of) why no one is shooting in LA anymore. If those rates were standardized for ALL contracts (Area Standards) I bet more stuff would be there. At this point with all the production all over the country, there is NO BETTER TIME for a national local for sound. Too bad the International doesn't think so.

Dan Izen

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This is (part of) why no one is shooting in LA anymore. If those rates were standardized for ALL contracts (Area Standards) I bet more stuff would be there. At this point with all the production all over the country, there is NO BETTER TIME for a national local for sound. Too bad the International doesn't think so.

Dan Izen

+1000

Forgive my ignorance, but does anyone have any idea as to how we as individual members of (weaker) locals could help facilitate that? Every Soundie I know would be in. A petition? How did 600 do it? I understand why the International might not like it, but in many of the smaller combined locals, Sound and Video members are getting peeled by these "Area Standards" agreements. It would be nice if we could all adhere to the same standard.

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More ignorance comin' at ya here:

For 600, the rates are the same across the country for each "Tier" a job might fall in? That is to say, a 1st AC makes the same amount on a Commercial in Atlanta as one in New York? Seems like a much better deal for the Atlanta AC then the one in the much more expensive city. Or am I understanding the way a "National" union would work.

e.

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More ignorance comin' at ya here:

For 600, the rates are the same across the country for each "Tier" a job might fall in? That is to say, a 1st AC makes the same amount on a Commercial in Atlanta as one in New York? Seems like a much better deal for the Atlanta AC then the one in the much more expensive city. Or am I understanding the way a "National" union would work.

e.

600 has regional rates for local hires when production is shooting under Area Standard Agreement. Imports from LA or NYC are paid under basic agreement, as we should be. But 695 supports members working at the ASA rates. ASA rate for dept. heads (mixer included) is $31.02. The LOWEST camera regional rate (Detroit for example) for the loader is $31.90. Camera operator scale is about $48. Assistants fall in the $40 range. So the mixer makes less than the loader.

In EVERY other union agreement, the mixer makes more than the operator. Boom is close to 1st AC, utility close to the 2nd.

But, as the union tells us, "They can always pay you more". Please hold your laughter.

Robert

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The locals don't want a national local because it would put most of the leaders out of power. To them, it's not what's good for the members but what's good for them. Power corrupts.

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The locals don't want a national local because it would put most of the leaders out of power. To them, it's not what's good for the members but what's good for them. Power corrupts.

Just for the record, I think most people know that this assertion is incorrect.

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Forgive my ignorance, but does anyone have any idea as to how we as individual members of (weaker) locals could help facilitate that? Every Soundie I know would be in.

I think there could be a lot more support for this than people realize. It could benefit all of us and solve lots of problems, too. Start talking it up amongst crew and amongst your union reps.

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We would ALL have to organize ourselves, and all of use refuse to work until change happens. As far as I can tell that's all we could really do, since the IA international decides everything for obscure reasons I couldn't possibly hope to understand. Only if every single union sound person decided to refuse to work, well that might affect some change. I could afford to do that for about 6 months.

Dan Izen

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Just for the record, I think most people know that this assertion is incorrect.

I think it's more correct than many people (especially those in power) care to admit... part of our nature is self-preservation -- it's not necessarily a deliberately malicious or underhanded thing -- it's just how we humans survive to an extent. Naturally, those in positions of power have at their disposal a greater number of resources with which to perpetuate that power. Sometimes it's mutually beneficial, sometimes it displaces and/or kills millions of people. Fortunately we land somewhere closer to the former : )

So, perhaps it could be said that the propensity for corruption is greater or more easily realized when there are more resources at ones disposal.

Either way, I can't really comment on whether the gentlemen who run the local to which I now belong are corrupt -- and I certainly can't say they're potentially any more or less corrupt than the people who run Local 695... or Local 600. I do know that it really pisses me off to know a 2nd AC is making as much, and in some cases more than me on certain jobs -- simply because of "Area Standards" agreements that only pertain to part of a crew. We should all adhere to the same standards, right?

In any case, it seems a poll, perhaps followed by a petition might be in order? Forgive my continued ignorance, but at one time there was a voters pole type feature on the JW site... does this still exist? I know the crew members are into it -- not so sure about the union reps (from the locals on up.)

That said, shouldn't a governing body of elected representatives primary concern be the will of its constituents? Isn't that what representation is all about? I'm just sayin...

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I'm sure I'm going to sound naive here, but what the hell....

As someone who is still trying to get into the NY Local, I am confused about this idea of people just accepting the rate they are given by a production. In my years as a [non-union-affiliated] sound mixer, there has been a simple process when offered a rate below my liking: make a counter-offer, and if they cannot meet a rate that you are willing to work for, just tell them "no thanks" and move on. Is it so much different in the union world?

I agree that it is lame if the unions have negotiated minimum rates for the Audio Dept. that are below those of other departments, but I think ultimately you still are responsible for yourself when it comes to determining an hourly rate that is your personal minimum. Another consideration for the Mixers out there, is the issue of kit rental, which could serve to even out a bad rate. Obviously there are times when you gotta do what you gotta do, especially when you need to make your insurance hours, but I guess that is another issue for another day.

I'm sorry if this comes off as cocky, which is not my intent. I understand that the NY market has been blessed with a lot of work this summer, where other places have not been as fortunate. I just feel really strongly that if you're being asked to work below what is legitimately fair (for your experience level), then something is wrong, and you're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

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As someone who is still trying to get into the NY Local, I am confused about this idea of people just accepting the rate they are given by a production. In my years as a [non-union-affiliated] sound mixer, there has been a simple process when offered a rate below my liking: make a counter-offer, and if they cannot meet a rate that you are willing to work for, just tell them "no thanks" and move on. Is it so much different in the union world?

I don't think it is really any different in the Union world (though the non-union part of my career stopped in 1975). I was fortunate for the first 30 or so years of my career on union jobs (and actually during that whole time I don't think I did any non-union work) to have always been able to negotiate a rate higher than scale rate. During the same period of time I know lots and lots of very good, very experienced A-list sound mixers who never negotiated an overscale rate (but also generally got a whole lot more money for equipment rental than I was getting). I think things are still negotiable but it is harder and harder when the UPM states right up front "this is a scale deal" and if you don't want the job there are lots of people waiting in line that will work for scale.

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" if you don't want the job there are lots of people waiting in line that will work for scale. "

sad, but true...

" am confused about this idea of people just accepting the rate "

I think you have got it right...

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Sorry to bring up this issue again, but I'm just wondering if anyone here can help me understand the difference between the "Low-Budget Agreement" and the "ASA"... especially how those pertain to a given production (say, Tier-1) in a given locale (say, non-production city, non-Maryland)

I'm confused because these agreements seem to have two different rates listed for the exact same production criteria -- which beg the question - to which "agreement" is the production required to adhere?

I typically negotiate a rate higher than the "scale" rate, but I find myself a bit confused as to which scale applies.

Thanks in advance for any insight offered on this.

~tt

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There is a "Theatrical Low Budget Agreement" which covers feature-length projects. It's also known at the Tier 1, 2, or 3 agreement. This is a national agreement. All employees are paid the same regardless of region, and it doesn't matter where it it shot. Although there is a small difference if the project shoots in a "production city" or the employee is hired from a "production city" and flown in. Ironically, no city in Louisiana is considered a production city. The rates cover the camera department too.

The ASA covers all projects, and in some cases may save production over the Theatrical Low Budget agreement. But the ASA does not cover camera. They work under their regional agreement, meaning their loader rate is higher than the mixer rate. Loader about $32, mixer about $31. Camera operator about $45 or so.

Mixer on Tier 2/3 is paid upper $40s, I think. Mixer on ASA is $31.

So it's an either/or for production. They need to pick which deal they will sign. It will dramatically affect your rate. Boom/utility is pretty close.

Robert

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There is a "Theatrical Low Budget Agreement" which covers feature-length projects. It's also known at the Tier 1, 2, or 3 agreement. This is a national agreement. All employees are paid the same regardless of region, and it doesn't matter where it it shot. Although there is a small difference if the project shoots in a "production city" or the employee is hired from a "production city" and flown in. Ironically, no city in Louisiana is considered a production city. The rates cover the camera department too.

The ASA covers all projects, and in some cases may save production over the Theatrical Low Budget agreement. But the ASA does not cover camera. They work under their regional agreement, meaning their loader rate is higher than the mixer rate. Loader about $32, mixer about $31. Camera operator about $45 or so.

Mixer on Tier 2/3 is paid upper $40s, I think. Mixer on ASA is $31.

So it's an either/or for production. They need to pick which deal they will sign. It will dramatically affect your rate. Boom/utility is pretty close.

Robert

Thanks Robert,

I figured as much. I have copies of both agreements -- The ASA is around $30/hr for Tier 1, while the Low Budget Agreement is "STN" for the Sound Mixer (stipulating that it must at least be higher than the listed "Key" rate.) I just don't know which one this particular signatory signed, though I'm guessing it's the latter. Fortunately, the "STN" designation, along with the knowledge of comparable Mixer rates on other Tier 1 features, I should be able to get a (decent) rate. And then there's always the kit rental >:D

~tt

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I have found that production always values the camera operator higher than the mixer. Their rate is also "subject to negotiation" on the Tier 1 agreement. If that's the vibe you get, a good strategy is to demand equal pay, which is usually more than they intended to pay you. If they argue, you can always point out the Tier 2 and 3 agreements, as well as the West Coast Basic, in which the mixer has a higher scale than the operator.

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Awesome, thanks Robert -- I'm not familiar with the West Coast Basic, but I imagine for Sound, it's closer to the 695 / L.A. contract? I agree that a Mixer should be at least on par with the A-Cam operator, if not the DP -- I understand the DP making more, but can't think of a reason a camera operator should make more than the PSM. Anyhow, thanks for your input -- definitely some ammunition for negotiating a decent rate.

~tt

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Are there any links to the current versions of these, such as the ASA, Tiers, and the 695 basic for those of us on the East Coast? I thought I had a copy saved of the ASA... But it seems to have been eaten by my computer.

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I think it should be pointed out the ASA is different depending upon which area you're in. For example, in New England keys under the ASA are "per negotiation" with no rate given. The 2nd and 3rd rates are roughly $15/hour less than the Hollywood basic.

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I think it should be pointed out the ASA is different depending upon which area you're in.

ASA are "per negotiation" with no rate given.

"Per Negotiation" = low bidder wins...

Such bullshit. Don't we pay / task the union to make a contract! With AT LEAST minimums??

Just another perversion over the intent and purpose of a union...

Why in the hell would "per negotiation" ever be brought up onto the table -- so we can get MORE???

Of course not. The AMTP throws that crap out, and our crack "negotiators", for some reason, lap it up.

That language, unfortunately, also is in the current commercial contract - there is a ridiulous "low budget" commercial category.

The low-budget parameter?

$75,0000 !!!

WTF

MF

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