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Animator Union Makes Pact with Producers

Animation Guild Local 839 has reached a tentative three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, per VARIETY.

The unions covering Hollywood's 2,000 animators announced Tuesday they had made the deal, which will take effect August 1 if ratified by members. Negotiations began May 18 and concluded Monday night.

Local 839 is part of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

The deal includes a minimum 2 percent salary hike each year and a 1.5 percent gain in the employer contributions to the health and pension plan. There is also an increase in the number of hours employees will be required to work to keep benefits, similar to the new provisions in the IATSE West Coast contract that covers about 25,000 below-the-line workers.

The new IATSE West Coast contract also included 3 percent annual pay increases, which were first negotiated more than a year ago. Steve Hulett, business agent for Local 839, said the studios were unwilling to move higher than 2 percent for animators.

"We didn't have major, huge leverage," he added. "The conclusion to the negotiations wasn't awful, but it wasn't where we expected, or originally hoped, to touch down for a landing. We were not ecstatic at the final results, but we recognized existing realities and bargained accordingly."