IATSE is one step closer to averting another strike this summer.

IATSE Local 600, or the International Cinematographers Guild, has reached a tentative deal with the studios — the AMPTP — on a new contract that addresses issues specific to cinematographers.

“Today marked the conclusion of our bargaining team’s in-person local negotiations with the AMPTP regarding our Camera and Publicist Agreements. We’ve reached a tentative agreement on Local 600 specific issues,” the guild said in a statement to members, and obtained by IndieWire, late on March 20. “We wish the remainder of the West Coast Studio Locals best of luck as they negotiate their local specific issues. We look forward to building on the success in the General Negotiations, which this tentative Local 600 specific agreement will be part of. Once a tentative deal is reached, all members will have the opportunity to vote to ratify the agreement.” 

“I am extremely proud of our lead negotiator, National Executive Director Alex Tonisson, and our bargaining team,” Baird Steptoe, national president for ICG, said in a statement. “Although we can’t share the specifics of our proposals until a final agreement is reached in generals, I can say that our team fought hard for our members.”

Terms of the tentative deal were not immediately disclosed publicly. The deal will still need to be ratified by members before it becomes official. The current contract expires on July 31.

With the International Cinematographers Guild out of the way, that opens the door for IATSE’s remaining 12 West Coast locals to start negotiations on the topics of specific interest to their members. IATSE recently said that two locals will be negotiating with the AMPTP simultaneously at any given time. The cinematographers with ICG, the largest of the 13 locals, went first and began its individual talks at the start of this week on Monday, March 18.

Up next: the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) also began its talks on Monday with negotiations ongoing, and IATSE said the Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) and IATSE Local 729, which deals with set painters and sign writers, are expected to begin their negotiations with the AMPTP later in the week.

IATSE kicked off negotiations with the studios on March 4 to review health plan terms and pension benefits. For those talks, IATSE also teamed up with the Teamsters and Hollywood Basic Crafts to speed along the process and reach some standards across all unions. Teamsters and Basic Crafts won’t begin their individual talks until sometime in June.

IATSE has said it has no interest in extending talks past the contract expiration deadline on July 31, which the guild did by extending talks out for months back in 2021. That nearly led to union members rejecting the deal that was negotiated, but the contract was ultimately ratified, and a strike was averted.

Leave a comment