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Best union to join?

union steadicam guild best

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#1 Kiel Michael Eulberg

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

Hello, I'm a fresh steadicam owner/ operator in LA who is considering joining a camera union, but am unsure about which union treats steadicam operators the best. Has anyone joined a camera union, and has experience with your membership you feel is worth sharing?
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

Hello, I'm a fresh steadicam owner/ operator in LA who is considering joining a camera union, but am unsure about which union treats steadicam operators the best. Has anyone joined a camera union, and has experience with your membership you feel is worth sharing?


I think you may need to do a little more research. Are you doing live tv or film/TV/commercials? If its the later there is only one union, IA600. How many eligible days have you done? You don't just walk into the union office say "I'm here, I'm great and I want to join"


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#3 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

You don't just walk into the union office say "I'm here, I'm great and I want to join"


If you are looking into the union, I suggest you to ask around who is in what union, then read their documentation on their website, then call them for more information, then choose. It's a process and it will change your career radically (hopefully for the best), so take your time. If you are asking about which union to join, it is probably that you don't need to join yet.

I am not in an union but am applying to pass the test for the local 600 east coast (I'm in NYC)

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Edited by Victor Lazaro, 19 January 2013 - 06:25 PM.

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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

You don't just walk into the union office say "I'm here, I'm great and I want to join"


If you are looking into the union, I suggest you to ask around who is in what union, then read their documentation on their website, then call them for more information, then choose. It's a process and it will change your career radically (hopefully for the best), so take your time. If you are asking about which union to join, it is probably that you don't need to join yet.


Victor,

There are two and only two unions one can join in LA (you can join both) one does live tv (NABET) one does everything else (IA600)
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#5 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:51 AM

Kiel,
Actually, there are three unions that represent camera operators in the United States
IATSE, camera local 600
NABET and
IBEW

As the others have pointed out, the biggest union and the one that will be most beneficial for you in the long run will be IA-600.

NABET is predominantly NBC and IBEW is CBS. Many of us have been forced to join all three do to the fact of being a regular on different shows at all different studios.

As Eric and Victor pointed out, just walking up to the Union and telling them you would like to join isn't going to do the trick entirely.
Although they my take your money . . . . LOL . . . . this does not make you a Union Member or will allow you to work on one of the studio stages.

You need to have 30 days on payroll, on a Union job doing Camera or 100 days ,on payroll, on a Non Union job doing camera. Then once you have proved that to Contract services, you then need to take all your safety courses. Once all of that is accomplished you will be put on the Union roster and you will finally have your expensive fishing license allowing you to find work in the Union realm.

Lastly, remember to get your benefits from IA you need 400 hours every 6 months to qualify.

Hope that helps
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#6 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

Rob, you're putting out all kinds of misinformation, how dare you!

I kid, I'm mostly nitpicking (as usual)

You can absolutely walk into 600, give them your money, and be in the union. It's not recommended because in the 13 western United States (or if you work from the 13) you also need to be on the roster before you can legally work a union gig, which is through contract services. You get put on the roster immediately upon approval of the 30 or 100 days, and are eligible to work local 600 gigs immediately upon being put on the roster. You then have 60 days to join 600 and 90 to complete your safety courses, otherwise you get removed from the roster.

Once in you need 600 hours in 12 months to qualify for your IA benefits, and then 400 every 6 months to keep them.

Some or all of the above may potentially be circumvented by asking nicely, or cheating. I recommend the former. The easiest way to get joining info is to ask questions at 600 and contract services. I assume the same is true for NABET and IBEW.
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#7 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

Thanks Bri . . . . . . lol

Ya what he said


Accept not the same requirements for NABET or IBEW, you just give them money =(
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#8 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Or, if you are on the east coast, the local 600 here has a test you can pass to enter.
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#9 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

I think that ultimately you join the union when the time is right. When you need the union to represent you on projects or if you are beginning to work on projects that are covered under union contracts, then it is time.
As a very proud union member for 30 years (first NABET 15, then Locals 52 and 644 and currently 52 and 600), and an executive board member of 644 and 600 for many years I can honestly say that the merits of joining far out weigh any concerns you might have. So when the time is right, give the local in your area a call. They'll be happy to help you and glad to answer any questions that you might have.
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#10 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

well said Jamie . . . .
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#11 Kiel Michael Eulberg

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:21 AM

wow, completely forgot to check this thread for a week or so. Everyone thank you so much for all the information, there is a lot of talk about union joining that contradicts other things you hear so it can be a tad confusing at first. You have all been fantastic human beings.
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