The negotiating committee for Los Angeles Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist Union Local 839 has recommended that its 2,000 members vote down the new three-year pact with the studios. On a vote of 12-1, Local 839 cited problems with the negotiating process, unequal salary increases, artist testing, credit placement, late payments to freelancers and the definition of writers. The committee wrote in their statement, "A no vote will send a message to the producers that we are tired of being treated like Hollywoods stepchildren." However, the one voice of decent, the unions chief negotiator and business agent, Steve Hulett, said the deal is the best gains the union has made in two decades and will be difficult to improve upon if not ratified. If the agreement isnt approved by the end of September, members will lose nearly US$4,000 to individual pension accounts from a health plan surplus.
Read Animation World Magazines interview with Cartoonists Union president Tom Sito to find out more on the unions status.
Steve Hulett of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists' Union isnt new to the topic of animation wages of the past, present and future. Read what he wrote in Animation World Magazine in 1997 about the topic and compare it to whats going on today.