Spring 2015

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8 CINEMONTAGE / SPRING 2015 CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS by Cathy Repola O ver the years, I, along with all of our contract enforcement staff, have been able to help members navigate through challenging workplace situations — to recoup wages, vacation and holiday pay; collect benefit contributions; properly reclassify the type of work being performed; and sometimes just lend an ear to a member who needs some personal support. Often in reply, thankful members ask to be called upon should the staff need their assistance. My response is always the same: Next time you hear a member say, "The union doesn't do anything," please point out that the members are the union, and tell your story of how you were helped. Below are examples of some of the help that the staff and I have provided to hundreds of members over just the last year. Most of these issues were successfully resolved without initiating the formal grievance procedures. No names are mentioned in order to protect both the innocent and the guilty. UNSCRIPTED SHOWS, TERM AGREEMENTS Over $45,000 in unpaid overtime and underpaid wages was recovered for several members. Approximately 25 members who were classified improperly resulted in $22,000 in retroactive wages and additional pension, health and IAP contributions. UNSCRIPTED SHOWS, SINGLE PRODUCTION ENTITIES Four different series failed to pay vacation and holiday pay. All were corrected; on one show alone, the payout totaled $15,000. There was a series that claimed to have sub- contracted the editorial prior to having signed a union agreement. We challenged this and, as the result of a grievance, $55,000 worth of retroactive pension and health benefits were paid on the crew's behalf, and $17,500 in retroactive wages were allocated to assistant editors who were paid below the union scale rates. PICTURE EDITORIAL – MAJORS AND INDEPEN- DENT AGREEMENTS As per the agreement, we receive requests for shared editorial credits. Sometimes we discover assistant editors who performed the work of an editor, but were not paid as an editor. Requiring correction on these contract violations amounted to approximately $25,000 in retroactive wages paid to the assistants. In another situation, two editors were incorrectly hired on a daily basis when they were entitled to weekly guarantees. One of them received $10,000 and the other $5,000 in retroactive wages. POST-PRODUCTION SOUND More frequently than should occur, we find people not properly classified. Sometimes people are at the Y16 rate when they should have been promoted to a Y9. After one year, people who start out at entry- level rates in the Y classifications do not get moved up to the journeyman rate, which is required. We also find Y16s being assigned apprentice editor work. We spend a great deal of time monitoring and correcting these situations. LABS & VAULTS During the very unfortunate closing of the remaining film labs, various seniority violations took place. These re-classifications resulted in nearly $165,000 being paid to members. In addition, over 1,000 additional hours were reported to the MPI Plans. In one instance, the additional reported hours qualified the member for lifetime medical coverage that she otherwise would not have achieved. LOW-BUDGET THEATRICALS We tend to find a great deal of wage violations in the low-budget feature world. Over the course of the last year, over $154,000 was collected for members who were improperly paid and over 11,200 under-reported $UCCESS STORIES THE $714,000 ANSWER TO THE QUESTION 'WHAT DOES THE UNION DO FOR US?' CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 During the very unfortunate closing of the remaining film labs, various seniority violations took place. These re-classifications resulted in nearly $165,000 being paid to members.

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