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Union question: IA 600 NYC


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#1 John J. Moers

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 06:58 PM

Can anyone please explain this union situation? I'm trying to understand the process of joining IA local 600 in New York but it's not exactly clear. I shoot behind-the-scenes and may have an upcoming job in NY. In this situation (and most cases), I do NOT work directly for the studio, but am hired by a 'middle' company (which happens to be located in LA).

I know that if I want to work on a union production in NY, I need to join IA, pay the fees, dues, etc. This part makes sense. But when I spoke to a person at the union office, they said that to join, I must do all of the above PLUS, I must ask the company who hired me, to contact the union office and they must go through the process of signing a contract with IA. (I was told that this insures that they pay me the minimum rates.) In addition, the IA person stated that this will require them at some point, to pay something.

Frankly, I would hope not to have to hassle my client by asking them to do something they wouldn't have to do on a union picture locally in LA. Supposedly the rules are differently there. When I mentioned it to them briefly, they had no idea what I was talking about. A big negative is telling my client that this arrangement will cost them?

What is all this about? Is there some other way to handle this? Why can't I sign whatever agreement with the union myself? I'm a sole proprietor, it's my business. Is there some stipulation I must be incorporated? I control day rates for me and my equipment and can make sure myself that they are above scale.

Let me know if it makes any sense. Hopefully someone's been through this.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 09:15 PM

I think the person you talked to is confused -- or you are -- but joining the union is a separate issue from the current non-union job you are doing, which won't have to pay you union rates if it's not an IA signatory, even after you've joined.

Being in the union only gets you union rates and benefits on union shoots, but you can continue to work on non-union shoots.

I don't know if on the East Coast you have to go through Contract Services, but otherwise, I assume the requirements for joining are the same as on the West Coast: proving you had 100 days of paid work in your category within a 3-year period dated back from the time of application, work done within the U.S. or its territories.

Now they might be saying that the company shooting behind-the-scenes stuff for a union production should also sign the IA agreement since they are bringing a camera person onto a union set, but that's an issue between the company and the union -- I don't see why you have to get involved, it's not your responsibility. I don't know what the requirements are there in terms of marketing work (which is what EPK work is for) done for an IA production, if they must use IA camera & sound people, etc.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 10:15 PM

I don't know if on the East Coast you have to go through Contract Services


Contract Services is a California entity with no jurisdiction in NY.

best

Tim
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