Animation Guild Ratifies New Contract

By an overwhelming vote, the members of the Animation Guild and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts, Local 839 IATSE have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the major animation producers. The new Animation Guild agreement offers the same wage minimum increases, health and pension benefits as the IATSE Hollywood Basic Agreement, which was agreed to in November 2002 and ratified in February 2003.

IATSE President Thomas C. Short, Animation Guild President Kevin Koch and Guild Business Representative Steve Hulett negotiated the agreement in a one-day session on March 20, 2003 with representatives of Adelaide Productions, Cartoon Network, Columbia, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, MGM, RichCrest, Universal and Warner Bros.

The new agreement features:-- A 50-cent-per-hour increase in the weekly wage minimums for the first year, a 2.5% increase for the second year and a 3% increase for the third year.

-- Improvements in the health insurance, pension plan, and Individual Account Plan.

-- A provision to automatically pay dismissal pay that will be capped at 150% of scale.

-- Increases in unit script and storyboard benefit contribution rates.

-- An agreement to implement a new screen credit arbitration procedure for writers and storyboard artists.

"Our goals were improvements in salary minimums and in health and retirement benefits," said Koch. "Were very pleased to have accomplished that, and more, without any give-backs."

The new Guild contract will take effect from August 1, 2003 through July 31, 2006. For further information, contact The Animation Guild at (818) 766-7151 or check out www@mpsc839.org.

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