Jump to content



Photo

NO! to 400 hours


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 David Allen Grove

David Allen Grove

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 891 posts
  • Los Angeles, California,

Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:35 AM

Union members against an increase in hours necessary to maintain health insurance.

Join the movement.

http://www.facebook....gid=39255782485

More information regarding the contract.
http://www.deadlineh...tentative-deal/

Edited by David Allen Grove SOC, 07 December 2008 - 11:40 AM.

  • 0

#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2922 posts
  • LA, Ca

Posted 07 December 2008 - 03:55 PM

Not totally defending the contract, BUT it's not just us that are having to increase the hours for health insurance. IT's everyone in the industry.

Bottom line is that it's the difference of working 5 weeks every six months to now working 6.6 weeks every six months.

That's still a small amount of work for what is the best insurance program in the country right now.
  • 0

#3 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 62 posts
  • Encino, CA

Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:52 PM

It's too bad us lowly EPK MEMBERS aren't covered by any contract on the West Coast anyway. So...300, 400, what's the difference? <_< Hell, make it a million hours.
  • 0

#4 JamieSilverstein

JamieSilverstein

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 361 posts
  • New York City

Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:01 AM

Brian;

I can only speak for the East Coast, but when a 600 film or TV show is being shot, the EPK camera and sound crew must be members of their respective Unions. If they are not members, the Union reps are quickly notified......
As for the amount of hours necessary to maintain health care, the Union has fought long and hard to keep the hours the same and in fact it was the Union's efforts in the past that increased the bank of hours to 450. I was not in the current negotiations, but I do read and listen to the news, and I understand that nothing is getting cheaper, ESPECIALLY health care in this country. That is one of the reasons that we elected the incoming President. The health fund must continue to be funded, and if coverage costs go up, so do our costs. Lobby, protest, demand better health care for the nation.
400 hours amounts to 40 ten hour days in a six month period. That is probably less than one majors movie, or a sight portion of the grueling schedule of an episodic show. I only mention ten hour days as a convenience. The reality is that most of us work upwards of 12, and often 15 or 16 hours a day, which is good for health coverage, bad for our health. If you average a 12 hour day on a movie, the number of days needed shortens to 33. Honestly that is not a lot of days for coverage that costs nothing in terms of monthly payments.
If I were king, I might demand that the days get shorter, the result of which would be less need for our extremely comprehensive health plan. There would be more days needed to complete a show, and thus more man days available for all. Lobby our Union reps for better and better working conditions, safer environments and shorter work days.
When I sit and listen to what my friends, regular civilians, outside of the film and tv industry pay for health care, I am astonished. People with regular jobs, working a 45 hour week, with 2 kids, paying $1400.00 a month just to be covered.
We have really hard jobs with tremendous pressures to deliver all of the time, regardless of condition or difficulty. A lot is on the line when we pull focus, operate a camera, or light a set. I still believe that ours is still one of the best health situations available regardless of the demands on our souls, psyches, and bodies.
Sorry for the long winded diatribe. I respect the indignation regarding the change in our health plan, but I think that perspective is necessary when talking about it.
Respectfully;
Jamie.
  • 0

#5 Kris Torch Wilson

Kris Torch Wilson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 184 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:24 PM

We have really hard jobs with tremendous pressures to deliver all of the time, regardless of condition or difficulty.

I was totally buying into your post until i read that. C'mon Jamie, we can BS producers and those outside our industry but we're all related here. ;)

Kris "I once had a real job" Wilson
  • 0

#6 JamieSilverstein

JamieSilverstein

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 361 posts
  • New York City

Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:42 PM

Kris;
I agree, it beats digging ditches for 12 hours a day, but when you are operating on a movie whose schedule depends on your being able to make a shot that you might not be able to pull off; that is when the pressure starts to mount. Combine that with the 14th hour of the day, that started at 3 pm and the #$@%^$# sun is coming up, and it is 17ยบ out side and your toes are now officially frost bitten. THAT is when the job is hard, the pressure is great, and the demands are high.

Still, after almost 30 years in the business (yes I am an old fart, who has been around too long), I can't think of another/better way to make ends meet. Now if I could just the feeling back in my toes............

Cheers;
Jamie
  • 0

#7 Lawrence Karman

Lawrence Karman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 897 posts

Posted 08 December 2008 - 10:11 PM

What Jamie said.

And consider the fact that our health plan is fast becoming underfunded. Producer contributions are down due to the writer's strike and residuals are flat and falling fast and health care costs are rising.. The money has to come from somewhere. Aside from getting the producers to kick in more the other alternative is to reduce the amount of members using the health plan, thus the increase in qualifying hours. And our plan is virtually becoming an HMO only. It's not pretty and I don't know what the alternative is. Stay healthy.
  • 0

#8 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:17 AM

For those of us not fortunate enough to be on a series or find ourselves at the top of the food chain for features in order to even clear 300 hours, and for those potentially about to lose coverage because they're just clearing 300 hours, this sucks.

Easy to defend 400 hours when you're getting steady union work. I wonder what the percentage of people not getting their hours is now and what it will be when that number jumps 100 hours.

Bring on the co-pay! I'll pay that any day over an increase in hours.

Trying to do the math and figure out why I dropped $6000 to join and drop close to $1000/yr. to stay...What exactly am I paying for?
  • 0

#9 Lawrence Karman

Lawrence Karman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 897 posts

Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:03 PM

Bring on the co-pay! I'll pay that any day over an increase in hours.

Trying to do the math and figure out why I dropped $6000 to join and drop close to $1000/yr. to stay...What exactly am I paying for?



They will increase the co-pays as well so you will get your wish.

You will never get the opportunity to work the 400 qualifying hours if you are not a member of the union. Maybe you are having a hard time now,but there is a future. And here are a few other reasons: an employer funded pension plan, contract mandated turn-around periods, meal breaks, guaranteed rates, free training sessions, free screenings and a lame monthly magazine.

I agree these changes suck. Please chime in anyone on what can be done to avoid it.
  • 0

#10 Aaron Medick SOC

Aaron Medick SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 174 posts
  • NYC

Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:17 PM

I think the 400 hours sucks, but all that has been said in it's defense it true. What i think is tragic is the Bank. Why does the bank have to have a limit?
I submit bank all hours. When a contract changes and the contributions go up retro the hours. I mean if we contributed $10 on a old contract and the new one is $15. Do the math, the old hours would reduced by 1/3 so old hours would have the same monetary value as new ones.
For full disclosure, I have just for the first time got my 600 hours to qualify for health insurance. I have been an Op in 600 for 5 years. I have paid and paid and do so for the hope and aim or doing bigger and bigger projects. I will continue to do so, but I hope we can all do it with benefits.

Best,
Aaron
  • 0

#11 RonBaldwin

RonBaldwin

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2351 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:38 PM

I wish those with WAY more hours than needed could "donate" hours to those who are short.

rb
  • 0

#12 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 62 posts
  • Encino, CA

Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:17 AM

Brian;

I can only speak for the East Coast, but when a 600 film or TV show is being shot, the EPK camera and sound crew must be members of their respective Unions. If they are not members, the Union reps are quickly notified......\


Yes, I have seen the East Coast/Central Region contract for EPK that specifically leaves out the West Coast. LA Reps HAVE frequently been called about non-union Cameramen AND union (600) Cameramen on LA shows, but the Reps have either refused to do anything about it or they just don't show up at all.

Studios and Vendors almost always insist that the hired Behind the Scenes Videographers hold Local 600 cards to placate the union crews who are led to believe that we work under a contract. But we don't. We pay dues and take the safety courses, but the card is merely a ticket to ride the ride. LA EPK crews do NOT have a contract and earn zero hours toward benefits.

So it doesn't matter what the new rules are. Behind the Scenes Local 600 members in LA have been written off by IATSE. The only way we could ever hope to earn enough qualifying hours is to work an entire show like the normal crew, but the union refuses to create a contract that would cover the "everyday" EPK crew. For the sporadic BTS crew, we don't get enough days in six months that could possibly count in order to qualify anyway, so being repped by Local 600 is essentially pointless. We get jobs because we have cards, but that's it, all with the blessing of our own Local who we pay money to.

That's what goes on in LA.
  • 0

#13 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:47 AM

> They will increase the co-pays as well so you will get your wish.

I thought Poster said co-pays would stay the same. One of the many "benefits" in his positive build up to dropping the hammer.

> Producer contributions are down due to the writer's strike and residuals are flat and falling fast and health care costs are rising...the other alternative is to reduce the amount of members using the health plan, thus the increase in qualifying hours. And our plan is virtually becoming an HMO only.

I'm not going to claim to understand how the politics and financials work because I don't but it seems to me that if these strikes result in less work then less people are getting hours to get their benefits which means that there's less money the producers have to pay out. And when there's more work, more people are getting their hours but the producers are also making more. I'm sure it's more complicated than this but there has to be some truth in that.

I'd love to see their balance sheet. I don't suppose this is public record.
  • 0

#14 David Allen Grove

David Allen Grove

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 891 posts
  • Los Angeles, California,

Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:04 PM

Donating Hours is a great idea Ron. I wish we could do that too!

These are rollbacks.

First we lost the Mandatory camera operator position and now we are being asked to work longer and we are paying more out of pocket.

What's next? No more first class air travel.. oops.. sorry we lost that years ago, (so I've heard.) My bad.
That must have been nice. But I'll never get to know that because it's a done deal which will never come back.

The bottom line is if 400 hours goes through we will NEVER ever get it back down to 300 again.
After they get the hours to 400 then they will go after banked hours. (Oh, no.. they would never do that! riiight?)

Let's hang onto what we have shall we?

Oh this news just in..

Producers are not hurting any..
Recession -hit Americans flocking to movies."
"Double digit growth.."
"He said the movie industry has done well during all the recessions in the past 50 years...."
Read it here: http://www.reuters.c...E4B35W220081204
  • 0

#15 Lawrence Karman

Lawrence Karman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 897 posts

Posted 10 December 2008 - 03:02 PM

David, aside from just saying no to 400 please offer your suggestions for maintaining the status quo. And if one is to get our employers to make up the shortfall keep this in mind: somewhere I heard it would take a 35% increase in employer contributions to make up the projected shortfall. The most they have ever increased it was 6%, so good luck going there.
And keep in mind this new contract was negotiated by the International, not local 600. So anything relating to operator staffing requirements was not even discussed.
And BTW I am not part of any negotiating committee, just a member of 600 like you and not happy about this either.
  • 0




Varizoom Follow Focus

Paralinx LLC

IDX

Omnishot Systems

GPI Pro Systems

PLC Electronics Solutions

rebotnix Technologies

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Wireless Video Systems

Teradek

Boland Communications

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

PLC - Bartech

BOXX

Ritter Battery

SkyDreams