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Pros and cons of being in the union


MatthewFreedAudio
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this has been discussed on jwsound somewhat frequently, and not much has changed. If the search function doesn't give you the threads, try google search, as Google crawls this site regularly, and it is all there.

" actual experiences people have had. "

join, pay, and you are able to seek and accept employment on union gigs.

The union's do not get you gigs...

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From my perspective, being in Los Angeles and working on narrative TV and feature projects, being in the union is a requirement.

Additionally, the union provides my family and me with a health package which would otherwise be cost prohibitive. The union also sets wage scales which I believe would be far lower if the producers were able to negotiate rates individually.

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From my perspective, being in Los Angeles and working on narrative TV and feature projects, being in the union is a requirement.

Additionally, the union provides my family and me with a health package which would otherwise be cost prohibitive. The union also sets wage scales which I believe would be far lower if the producers were able to negotiate rates individually.

+1 Robert.

Choice of HMO or PPO programs, relatively low co-pays, total major medical. Every three years the AMPTP tries to whittle away some of the benefits, or increase the hours necessary to qualify, but all in all it is better than average.

jay

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In theory, once a union mixer, aren't you supposed to stop working on non-union work? or how is the policy officially worded?

I'm in a studio mechanics' local that represents many of the crafts, script, camera and some others excepted. We are free to take any work so long as we report it. In my specific case, there's lots of work where I'm the only local hire (a producer, a writer/interviewer, a cameraman and me) and there's little reason to organize the job from the union's point of view. But I do a little serial TV and many commercials and those are almost without exception union gigs. We get some non-union TV series work from Canada mostly, which I refuse after my experience on the first job of this ilk I took.

Best regards,

Jim

PS I was unaware either SAG or AFTRA represented mixers or any other technical craft, and sadly most SAG members in particular fail to regard acting as a craft. Must be a Hawaii thing.

JG

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There was a Court ruling many years ago (actually a delayed part of the original class action lawsuit that got me in to the Union) that stated that a Union could not prevent you from taking employment not covered by a union contract. As pointed out, the union still makes ti very clear that you should not take non-union work but it is not like the old days where it was seriously policed and you were subject to major fines and expulsion if you were caught doing non-union work.

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" I was unaware either SAG or AFTRA represented mixers or any other technical craft, "

You are, of course, quite correct, and I apologize for framing my response with that bit of trivia, though I sometimes suspect that may be why some folks get an impression that in the Biz, "union members" may only take "union work".

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" I was unaware either SAG or AFTRA represented mixers or any other technical craft, "

You are, of course, quite correct, and I apologize for framing my response with that bit of trivia, though I sometimes suspect that is why some folks get an impression that "inion members" may only take "union work".

Actually, back in the Local 15 days, many of our camera brothers and sisters made the mistake of being both IATSE and NABET members, which the IA rules forbade at the time, Many of those folks were expelled from the East Coast camera local which in part brought about many lawsuits including, in part, the class action Jeff refers to above.

Best regards,

Jim

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" I was unaware either SAG or AFTRA represented mixers or any other technical craft, "

You are, of course, quite correct, and I apologize for framing my response with that bit of trivia, though I sometimes suspect that may be why some folks get an impression that in the Biz, "union members" may only take "union work".

Quoting entire sentences rather than phrases really helps with context, Senator.

The original says:

PS I was unaware either SAG or AFTRA represented mixers or any other technical craft, and sadly most SAG members in particular fail to regard acting as a craft. Must be a Hawaii thing.

Best regards,

Jim

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" Is Fresno outside the geographical limitation "

There is no geographical limitation on where members live, but 695's charter basically covers the Hollywood studio zone (LA county), and there are members living all over the country. OTOH, when "Hollywood based" productions go on location, they usually include a lot of Hollywood members working under the Hollywood terms, mostly "chiefs", supplemented by local locals' (!) members typically "Indians", though this is all subject to all sorts of special deals, overseen by the IA HQ.

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Benefits: As mentioned, the health benefits are extremely good, though watered down slightly each year in response to rising costs. The pension money set aside for retirement may not be enough to live carefree but can be quite a significant addition to what you have hopefully saved. Pay for holidays and vacations does not always happen because there are many situations that allow producers to avoid paying it but for the big features and tv shows, it is quite a nice addition to your check. Plus education and training, a grievance procedure to protect you when there are issues with employment or payment, networking and available for work lists, and stuff like that.

Downside: Other than the fact that you pay dues, there are none.

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" Is Fresno outside the geographical limitation "

There is no geographical limitation on where members live, but 695's charter basically covers the Hollywood studio zone (LA county), and there are members living all over the country. OTOH, when "Hollywood based" productions go on location, they usually include a lot of Hollywood members working under the Hollywood terms, mostly "chiefs", supplemented by local locals' (!) members typically "Indians", though this is all subject to all sorts of special deals, overseen by the IA HQ.

try calling the 695 office 818 985-9204 they do answer the phone now ask for Scott Bernard or an organizer... and good luck getting a coherent answer... if you do let us know wolf

Thank you guys.

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Some of the other benefits would be defined rules about travel,meal breaks and turn around issues. I was on a job for a foreign production company that told the AD "in my country the crew does what what we tell them to do and we tell them when when they can take a lunch break". The AD explained how things work here and what the ramifications would be of not taking a meal break. We took a break. It was the middle of February in Philadelphia shooting outside all day.

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