Q3 2022

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Page 7 of 55

Taking Ownership CHANGE IS COMING FOR A STRONGER UNION P H O T O : M A R T I N C O H E N I n 1937, Amelia Earhart mysterious- ly disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" premiered, the fantasy novel "The Hob- bit" was published, San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge officially opened, and the Society of Motion Picture Film Editors was founded. We are an 85-year-old labor organiza- tion, but getting here took some evolution. Local 683 (Stage & Picture Operators; now Laboratory Film-Video Technicians) was chartered as an IA local in 1929; Local 771 (the Editors Guild local in New York) was chartered as an IA local in 1942; Local 776 (Editors Guild in Hollywood) in 1944; and the Screen Story Analysts in 1954. Through mergers over the years, these locals com- bined to make up what is now Local 700. The tools and processes for the members and the staff have certainly changed repeat- edly over all these years. The entertainment industry is always in flux, sometimes on multiple levels. The old studio system broke down, multinational companies swooped in, new distribution models came and went. It is impossible to review all that evolved over the course of these 85 years, and yet I think we can all agree on one thing: Some changes have been for the better, and some for the worse. To that latter point, there has been i n re c e n t y e a r s a g ro w i n g a n d u n re a- sonable pressure, and an increasingly unrealistic workload, put upon many of our members in the classifications we represent. All of this caused a gradual erosion of what used to be a rewarding, creative, and envi- able industry. This is a large part of what caused the divide over last year's Basic Agreement among the Hollywood rank-and-f ile IA members. And these issues will stay in the forefront during the next round of Basic Agreement talks in 2024. One thing I kept saying during the last ratification process is worth repeating: Many of the changes the members are rightfully demanding need to be addressed through a cultural shift in this industry. And wouldn't it be ideal if the decision makers not only realized this but were bold enough to step up and do the right thing, and pull along those less inclined? There are those who have the power to effectuate change, and we call upon them to do so. That leads to an important discussion we recently had at a board of directors meeting. The discussion centered around job duty overload, which is when workers are assigned duties not meant for their job classification. Assistant picture editors ARE NOT sound editors or "sound designers." Assistant picture editors ARE NOT music editors. Assistant picture editors ARE NOT visual effects editors. If sound editing or "sound designing" is required, then a sound editor must be hired to perform that work. If music editing is required, a music editor must be hired to perform that work. If visual effects editing work is required, then an editor must be hired to do that work. T i m e i s u p fo r t h e a ss i s ta n t e d i to r classification to be a dumping ground for job duties that should be performed by classifications paid at higher wage scales. And it isn't just that the volume of work is often becoming unsustainable; it also runs counter to all we are fighting for in order to achieve a better work-life balance. I t i s n eve r a cce p ta b l e to a l l ow a ny employer to force work into a lower-paid classification. Never. To t h o s e i n m a n a g e m e n t w h o a r e already doing the right thing, we applaud you, and we ask that you try to convince others to follow your example. To those who reject doing the right thing, we urge you to reexamine your thinking, and we hope you will recognize the benefits of an evolved union-positive viewpoint. The ongoing proliferation of abuse can be reversed, but only by those with the power and the will to change it. Failure to do so threatens to create further dissent from our members and will add fuel to a growing fire that none of us may be able to put out. But if we could agree to collaborate, then together we could make everything so much better. And speaking of making things better, the leadership of the local for the last few months has been focused on doing what we can to make our guild even better. With the help of the Membership Outreach Commit- tee (MOC), we distributed a membership survey seeking detailed input from you. Questions included how many members vote during our annual board of directors elections, and for those who don't vote, we asked why not. Those answers have been 8 C I N E M O N T A G E F R O M C A T H Y R E P O L A , N A T I O N A L E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

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