Facility owners respond…

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

City Counsellor Geoff Meggs was inundated with calls after his article on VFX employees came out in BIV in December. This week his follow-up article came out with facility owners chiming in their perspective, albeit anonymously. According to our soon to be released survey the overwhelming majority of artists who responded do not have an employer sponsored health benefit plan nor an employer sponsored retirement plan.

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Comments
  1. anonymous... says:

    If this IA891 deal is SO good, 3 important points are needing answers.

    1) how come the hundreds of VFX professionals working in Vancouver, both at facilities (hired by the VFX company) and on set (hired by production company) NEVER got to vote on this “career changing event”. Do we even WANT to be part of your union? Why not 669, they’ve offered before (twice) to represent us?? Why not our own “VFX Local” under IA (like 669; whom we’d probably be as big as)? Your actions seem draconian in that we never got a say. YOU the various unions should be pitching to US, the VFX professionals currently not affiliated with any union/guild and then WE vote on which offer “fits” best for us. Also who set the IA wage minimums? No consultation with the industry was done. What did you talk to one disgruntled junior artist or coordinator and decided what they said was “gospel”? The minimum rates are ridiculously low across the board, even for “entry level” gigs.

    2) How come you’re allowing “non VFX people” who are part of 891 to list themselves as VFX crew? They have ZERO training, ZERO understanding of the techniques & terminology of our highly technical industry, and in at least one case this past year, a production hired one of these “non qualified persons” at HALF the going rate in town for the position (coordinator) and treated this person like a gofer/PA for the run of show, NOT a coordinator (though this person got the “title”). I got this information directly from the American VFX crew on said project. They airdropped over a dozen foreign VFX workers to be on set (no match hire demands from IA891?), hired a non qualified “token” IA member for very low rates, and NO ONE from the union complained. Why would I want to be part of a union that encourages unqualified people to “undercut” the going rate and then not be able to do the job (taking a job from an experienced VFX person), just so the production can save some money?? And not demanding any match hires so a production can airdrop in as many non Canadians as they want as long as they hire a “token Canuck mascot”?

    3) For artists working at VFX companies, how come you INSIST they work a “12 hour day standard”. This ISN’t BETTER work/life balance. Some companies are taking advantage of workers (flat rate, no paid OT etc), other companies don’t. They work their people 40 hour weeks and they get OT (and workers have the option of turning down OT). Why should they agree to work a 12 hour day? Makes ZERO sense.

    Your YouTube video did a slick sales job, but like any sales job, didn’t point out the obvious disadvantages of this deal being rammed down our throats with ZERO consultation.

    Seriously this is a lousy deal for EVERY VFX professional working in town today and that why you’re trying to FORCE it through with no vote.

    • iatse891vfx says:

      IATSE 891 never offered us a vote, never sought feedback from the industry they are claiming to represent, arbitrarily set “minimum rates” (which are considered by MOST working VFX professionals in the industry as ridiculously low) and any polite queries to their office about why we as an industry weren’t entitled to a vote or why they have done ZERO consultation with the industry (such as, why they are INSISTING artists working at VFX companies have to work a “12 hour day standard” under their rules) they are trying to force into their union, has met with stonewalling.

      Their “informational meeting” will be a one sided,

      Dear Anonymous, although you and I have met and I clarified much of the misinformation floating around in regards to the previous organizing of Battlestar Galactica and the current facility campaign, I will respond again.

      In 2006, members of Battlestar Galactica’s VFX inhouse crew contacted IATSE Local 891 re: excessive hours worked (exceeding 12 plus daily sometimes), lack of proper paid overtime, no benefits, and other negative working conditions they were subject to inquiring about union representation,.

      The Local ascertained there was sufficient support to file an application at the BC Labour Board to vary our existing bargaining unit on Battlestar Galactica to include those VFX workers.

      A vote was ordered by the Labour Board. The workers participated in a confidential vote. The employer raised objections and the ballot box was sealed. The ballots were NOT counted.

      The American Motion Picture and Televisions Producers (AMPTP) and Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the employers associations, entered into negotiations with the IATSE which resulted in the Employers’ voluntarily recognizing the expansion of Local 891’s bargaining unit to include VFX employees hired directly by production. A vote of VFX employees was NOT required.

      This coincided with the negotiation by the Local and the AMPTP and CMPA of a letter of agreement that in the 2009-2012 Master Agreement negotiations concluded with the addition of Sideletter #12. All members of Local 891 who work under the Master Agreement are entitled to vote either for or against, this is per labour regulations

      Sideletter # 12 sets out minimum base rates for hours worked. The EMPLOYER not the union DETERMINES the work schedule of the worker. The UNION uses the sideletter to enforce the employee is receiving at least the base minimum. All employees may and many do negotiate increases beyond the stated minimums.

      Workers under Sideletter # 12 now have benefits and scheduled rate increases.

      The Sideletter reflects the status quo at the time of the certification application. The EMPLOYER ‘s recognition of the expansion of the bargaining unit stopped any further certification applications. This approach is not atypical but one that is seen as creating labour stability, an objective that the both the Employer and Union strive to maintain through the collective bargaining process.

      Sideletter #12 is not applicable to the facility organizing campaign. The facilities are not members of the AMPTP and are separate independent companies. A successful certification application would result in negotiations that “are neither the status quo nor the golden egg” between the facility/employer and the union/members. Artists working in VFX facilities vote in a certification application, it is a legal requirement. Only the affected facility workers (those who have demonstrated a working relationship as identified by the Labour Board) vote on acceptance of a collective agreement, no one else is entitled.

      The Union and this writer is and continues to consult with VFX workers.

      An informational meeting will provide the opportunity for artists to ask THEIR questions about the Union and organizing, that is the purpose.

      I look forward to meeting anyone who wishes to get more information on the union advantage and so encourage all who can to attend the meeting on February 13. Details on time (tentatively 12.30) and place will follow.

      In Solidarity,

      Dusty Kelly

      • anonymous... says:

        Ms Kelly,

        “A vote of VFX employees was NOT required.”

        Why Not? This is patently unfair. You the union used some kind of “legalese end run” to PREVENT us from voting (because you feared we’d vote NO? as we have en masse declined union representation twice in the past with IA669, but then again IA669 didn’t use Draconian tactics to “force” themselves on us). Law is, above all else, based on the “reasonable person test”. It’s patently unreasonable to be TOLD that “you’re now must be in the union” with no say and not vote after (some people) have spent the better part of 2 decades working quite happily in VFX without union representation. You may “on paper” be Legally Correct, but doesn’t make what you’re doing right.

        There’s a LOT of acrimony in the industry over the Union issue. It’s not so much ‘I HATE unions/I Love union split” (though there is some of that), it’s HOW you snuck your way around a vote. You’re offering (correct me if I’m wrong but your union’s adamant refusal to communicate with us openly starting with Kelly Moon and continuing somewhat with your tenure may had let to factual errors on our part) artists at VFX companies the opportunity to “shop vote”. Great for them.

        ***BTW, tangental subject here, but, can you please clearly define in layman’s terms aka not just a link to the collective agreement, what the “12 hour day” that artists may be subject to really means….there are MANY wildly conflicting interpretations of what the collective agreement says. Can an artist ‘turn down’ OT as they can now at companies who abide by BC Labour Law?; Can an employer choose to work artists 12 hours every day if they choose to as long as they’re paid according to the collective agreement? Does an artist have any recourse to turn down 6th or 7th days as long as they’re paid per the collective agreement?***

        That’s ALL we production side workers want…a vote…a say in our fate. If a vote were held and it was Yes, I’d be the first one(or one of the first) to sign on the union card line. All you’re stance is doing is making production hired workers feel like the “bathwater” (no vote, no say) compared to the artists “babies” (they get a “shop vote”) and making us production side workers “dig in”, refusing to sign up willingly. You’re penalizing us for being freelance workers and, on the surface, are going against your own “workers right to vote” tenets that is the foundation off ALL trade unions/labour organizations. Legalese aside, don’t you understand how unfair and draconian your actions appear? I can’t understand why you won’t allow a vote. A vote will end (or at least severely curtail) all the acrimony within the VFX industry that your actions have caused, and if the vote is Yes, will “legitimize” your claim to represent ALL VFX workers. Right now, you don’t legitimately speak for me or many production side workers, and while some have signed up, many are and will continue to dodge your sign up efforts.

        As a addendum, you still haven’t answered 2 big questions I put to you face to face, so I’ll try again.

        How come IA891 and the major studios aren’t even on the same page as to who is represented by IA? Studios, both VP VFX execs and in house legal council say, VFX ON SET (Local VFX supervisors, data wranglers, on set PA’s) crew only are under IA891. All Office (non set) VFX crew, including VFX coordinators, VFX production supervisors, PA’s, previs and post vis artists and VFX database people ARE NOT represented by IA891. This is the opinion of at least 3 major studios I’ve worked for. If an agreement is in place and ratified for all AMPTP signatories, how come the widely differing opinion?? Even local PM’s don’t know what to believe/which story is true. Add this to the fact is, I personally do both jobs, sometime on one movie…so am I “half union” then???

        How come you’re allowing untrained IATSE 891 crew to list themselves and apply for VFX positions? VFX is a very technical and demanding industry and it takes YEARS of on the job training (and in some cases post secondary education) to become proficient. This isn’t exactly “enticement” to get experienced VFX professionals to sign up willingly. I’ve told you the story (repeated on this site) about the non VFX IATSE person hired (at about half the going rate or equal to your rather ridiculously low “IA VFX minimums”) was hired on a major studio film as a VFX coordinator. Title aside, that person was treated as a defacto PA because they knew NOTHING about VFX techniques and terminologies and couldn’t fulfill the role of VFX coordinator (they kept the title, half rate pay and also kept a trained experienced VFX professional from getting the job…basically a “money save/local tokenism” gig on the production’s part the the union went along with). Meanwhile, the production air dropped in over 25 foreign VFX workers to be on set, hiring very few local on set VFX people. This story came firsthand directly from a senior member of the US VFX team on the movie. How come you’re allowing non qualified people to list themselves as VFX crew and why are there no “match hire” protections in place to prevent VFX shows from becoming defacto “foreign worker” productions? Again, on the surface, the union is doing NOTHING to help us production hired VFX workers. Why should we be eagerly rushing to sign up exactly? Overtime is useless if you can’t get the job because non qualified union people are undercutting our rates.

      • anonymous... says:

        One more note, did you know some on set/production people are referring to us “non artists without any right of the vote” as “VFX Suffragettes”. Not coined by me (I know wildly different connotations the word has engendered in the past) but it underscores how upset many working professional are by your actions.

  2. iatse891vfx says:

    Please mark Sunday afternoon, February 13 on your calendars as IATSE Local 891 will be holding an Informational Meeting. Details to come next week.

    • anonymous... says:

      Why wait? This is YOUR site, put your answers HERE NOW. I don’t want to show up at an “informational session” only to be ambushed with a “union sign up” team lying in wait….Not attending.

      You want us, COMMUNICATE WITH US, either here or on the VFX Vancouver Yahoogroups site. I (and many like me) are not walking into an ambush session where YOU get to set all the terms. Your treatment of us (basically IGNORING any and all concerns from any working VFX professional) shows we can’t “give you the benefit of the doubt”. We (most of us) DON’T trust you because of your actions over the last few years. Trust is a 2 way street and so far you have not proven we should give you ANY.

  3. Rolling Red says:

    Anonymous 22:48,
    I and many more like me, will be attending the informational meeting. My friends and me consider ourselves to be open minded and rational, not consumed by hate, hurt ego or blind ideology.

    You did not identify yourself nor did you explain why do you put yourself forth as a spokesperson for vfx professionals. You are insulting all of us by implying that each and every one of us is unable to use his/hers critical thinking faculties and cleverly distinguish actual facts from disinformation.

    Too bad we won’t be able to meet in person. Since you so viscerally refuse to contribute your thoughts as part of the process in a public forum, I think it would be a good idea to send in your questions to this local’s IATSE representative. I am willing to bet 100$ that they will respond to every single one of your questions, and then post them to this website as you suggested for everyone to see.

    • anonymous... says:

      “Rolling Red”…is that your legal name? If not, you are also being “anonymous”, much like the “anonymous so called artists” whining like little brats on VFX Vancouver and VFX Insider Blog who claim to fear blackballing. So I guess I can use the same excuse, since you sound as (VERY) angry and narrow minded as you claim me to be. Please tell me who you are, what you do, where you work (and whether they adhere to BC Labour Laws) and how long you’ve been working in the industry and I’ll do the same. Or maybe you should sign in as Capital H “Hypocrite”. And I never claimed to “speak for the entire industry. Do you??

      IATSE 891 never offered us a vote, never sought feedback from the industry they are claiming to represent, arbitrarily set “minimum rates” (which are considered by MOST working VFX professionals in the industry as ridiculously low) and any polite queries to their office about why we as an industry weren’t entitled to a vote or why they have done ZERO consultation with the industry (such as, why they are INSISTING artists working at VFX companies have to work a “12 hour day standard” under their rules) they are trying to force into their union, has met with stonewalling. Your so called “critical thinking faculties” will be useless at their PR rally/recruiting drive as IA891 has already said people on the freelance side (not working for a VFX company) will NOT get a vote in the matter and those that do work at the VFX company will get an individual ‘shop vote’ but if they vote YES, must agree to a “12 hour day standard” per IA rules. How about an industry wide vote, yes or no, whether we even WANT IA891 in our business? Why not IA669? Why not our own IATSE VFX guild? 891 can spin it all they want, but bottom line, WE don’t get a say in our own labour situation. They’re claiming us without even asking us and they say there’s nothing we can do about it but look, here’s all the fancy benefits you get (again not EVER pointing out the downsides).

      To me and many others, their behavior over the last 2 years does not engender trust. Their “informational meeting” will be a one sided, happy PR recruiting exercise at best and an ambush recruiting drive at worst.

      You’re a “proletariate unionist” who’s already “drunk the Marxist kool aid”, without knowing all the real downsides (the “12 hour day” being the worst), just shows how narrow minded and weak willed you are.

  4. Rolling Red says:

    I appreciate your insults Anonymous 00:14, 22:48 and I suppose 01:16(?) . LOL. If I could buy a word to describe you it would be “livid”. 😀 . Not a proper state of mind for holding a debate. I inquired and I hear that IATSE is preparing a response to your January 28th 3 point question. I guess squeaky wheel gets the oil? Eh?

  5. anonymous... says:

    I would love to hold a debate but you clearly lack any real points to debate and you don’t seem clever enough to hold your own for more than one engagement. And at 12:34 AM you “hear” IATSE is preparing a response (if you knew earlier, shouldn’t it have been in your early angry posting as a service to your fellow VFX professionals)? So basically you’re a union plant posting here like a snarky fanboygeek to try and blunt any reasonable dissent to the “union mantra”. Thanks, the timing of your ‘answer’ speaks volumes about you shop steward. Still planning to hide like a l’il bitch or take up my offer to clearly identify who you are, where you work and how long you’ve actually been a VFX professional in this town (since you take such issue with my ‘anonymity’). Thought not. Like all Marxists, you’re brave and angry hiding in the shadows put an impotent and voiceless drone in the light. And I don’t even have to be “angry” like you to deduce that obvious point.

  6. anonymous... says:

    So my previous response (which had NO objectionable language) was pulled I see for correctly calling “Rolling Red” a Union Plant since he/she says they just “heard” (at 12:34AM) that IA891 was “preparing a response” to my earlier questions. THanks for revealing your true nature IA891. I’m sure this post will also be pulled in typical Union “no discussion manner”. Yes we VFX people find you SOOOOO reasonable…

  7. Sandra says:

    Anonymous

    Why are you so angry? Did you really call people who are not getting overtime a bunch of “whining like little brats.” Shame on you.

    You should find a bunch of artists to vote to get our of the union. Good luck finding A majority of VFX artists that are willing to vote against overtime, double time. health care and RRSP payments. What is your game? are you a producer that is worried about the bottom line?

    BTW. Nice touch with the Marxist, Socialist scare jibber jabber. The 1980’s called they want their cold war rhetoric back.

    • anonymous... says:

      Good luck getting a bunch of artists to vote for IA membership at any facility when IA891 demands a 12 hour day standard (at the employers discretion and the workers can’t refuse; same deal as IA891’s set workers). This isn’t “PR spin” from facility managers, this comes directly from the IA891 office…please call and ask (Dusty Kelly is the current IA VFX rep) in person if you doubt what I say.

      I’m not angry, I’m exasperated that allegedly intelligent professionals (CG and comp artist work is NOT for “dummies”) can be so easily conned. I’m saying OPEN YOUR EYES. Their slick Youtube recruitment videos and PR doesn’t give you any of the downsides. At least as facility artists, you can have a shop vote (to work 12 hour days and give up your right to turn down OT, which the “legal” VFX facilities who do operate under BC Labour Law currently allow).

      Freelancer VFX people working on sets/for the production are being told by the IA891 “no vote for you, sign up and pay your dues, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, it’s only a matter of time until we get you all”. This is a Union (right of the workers to vote on their working fate) NOT giving workers the right to vote and acting in the stereotypical draconian abusive management style of “do this or else” (in this case, you don’t get to work on set for this production; join or you’re literally banned from earning a living, even if you’re highly experienced and have been doing the job for years before the union noticed they could squeeze more dues out of you the unsuspecting worker). IA891 is also allowing “non VFX” IATSE workers (art dept/grips/script supers, whatever) to list themselves as VFX crew (even though they have zero training in VFX or understanding of what we do on set), undercut the rates of experienced VFX people (sometimes by HALF the going weekly rate) and take jobs from experienced people (and then be treated as glorified PA’s). Does that sound like a Great Union Deal in the best interests of workers??

      I don’t hear a lot of “artist sympathy” for those fellow VFX workers. All I hear from ‘artists’ is “poor me, poor me, I have to work a 60 hour week”…guess what, EVERYONE on set/working for production works AT LEAST a 60 hour week. We all negotiate our deals based on a 60 or so hour week. Why can’t artists? Are you such “delicate geniuses” aka “brilliant savants but too emotionally fragile” to negotiate a fair deal for yourselves??

      Forced conscription is NOT what a union is supposed to be about. We want a full Industry wide vote on whether we want to throw in the IA891. THAT’s the issue almost ALL us freelance “non artistes” who don’t have the security of a full time job are upset about and these concerns are legitimate, real concerns. Sorry but spoiled (yes from our point of view you come across a “spoiled”) Artists whining about hours from their $1000 ergonomic chairs and how they somehow are too intellectually feeble to negotiate a fair deal to us doesn’t sound like near as an important issue.

      The only thing I might be “angry” about is Artists thinking they’re the only ones in this business and their concerns are the ONLY concerns that matter and they’re the only ones being “taken advantage of”. IA891 is fully “taking advantage” of VFX production side/set workers to our detriment.

      And BTW please think about this very real possibility. If DD or MPC Vancouver or Zoic “goes union” and suddenly it costs MORE to do the work here than at their home base of London or LA (because those facilities AREN’T union and won’t be for quite a while under even the union’s ‘best case scenario’) you don’t think they (the foreign based companies) won’t respond? They’re here because they can do the work cheaper. If the DAVE credit savings are cancelled out by Union OT rates/force RRSP/medical/dental plans in Vancouver (and Vancouver alone), how long do you think these facilities will be a growth industry? They may not close the facility up here down right away (they have leases that run a few years), but they will likely cut staff, or hire less people and do more of the work at home. It’s all about their profit margin. They’re not operating “VFX charities” up here and happily willingly accept fiscal losses. It’s EXACTLY what happened when “Battlestar” voted to unionize. They didn’t shut it down right away, but over the next couple of years, they opened a “Battlestar in house unit” (NON union) in LA, and slowly moved all the work there. By the time “Caprica” was up and running, almost NO artist work was happening in Vancouver. It was ALL happening down at “Battlestar LA” on the Universal lot. Sounds like a great option for “working artists” (if you live in LA that is). IA891 can make all the promises it wants that LA and London will “go union” at the same time as Vancouver but IATSE International has already stated that Vancouver will be the “Test Market” for VFX unionization, both on set and at VFX companies, so DD Venice will certainly not “go union” at the same time if DD Vancouver votes to. It’s not just VFX. Disney had animation houses in Vancouver and Toronto for a time. After a couple of years of operation, they realized it was cheaper to do the work at their Florida (a non union state BTW with a lower cost of living) facility and shut down in Vancouver and Toronto as soon as their office leases expired.

      These are the facts as I know them (having spoken to IA at length before Xmas). Maybe some of this is wrong but IATSE has refused to answer any questions on these issues and address answers to the VFX community en masse ( I listed 3 points/concerns/questions in my original post here that address BOTH artists and freelance non artist concerns and so far, NO RESPONSE as per usual from IA891). Come on IA, show us how much you ‘care’ for us and answer our LEGITIMATE questions. Right here, right now on this site (YOUR site BTW). My questions/concerns were reasonable and direct. No need to brush up on Superstring Theory/Quantum Mechanics to ‘understand’ the ramifications of my questions, nor are they “trick questions”. Your continued (arrogant?) silence make us feel more and more like we’re being played for dupes and less likely to let you play your Reindeer Games with our livelihood.

      • Sandra says:

        Anonymous. Again. Wow.

        – There are no 12 hour days being forced on anyone. You can stop now. It’s embarrassing.

        Read the BIG RED LETTERS. FLAT RATE “up to 12 hour daily”

        – No one is going to vote themselves out of double time, and a health plan
        – If the 20 other film unions have not ruined L.A., Vancouver and New York yet why will it ruin it now? You go to the moon and back about the world coming to the end if artists get paid for an 8 hour day.

        Slow your roll. You distrust IATSE, I get it. Provide evidence.

      • Bob says:

        Dude, you keep saying same stuff over and over. What are you selling?
        Your info is at odds with what IA891 is saying, both can’t be right. Someone is spreading misinformation and I don’t think it is IA ’cause they will have to deliver, not you. If they promise us 8hr days, time and a half after that and double time past 12 hrs – that’s what we get or else they’ll get decertified.
        But, I’ll go to their info meeting and ask those question. Thanks for the pointers. I have a long list of stuff to ask about. Good thing they have the meeting coming up.

  8. anonymous... says:

    “Up to 12 hours daily”….yes you get OT under IA but….

    A facility who has to pay OT under IA891 rule will likely work everyone on a project 12 hour days because they can. You may get time and a half from hour 9 to 12 but that’s better for a company than in the 6 week crunch working you 18 hours/7 dayts and paying double time/triple time.

    I know from experience working at a facilities that do pay OT to artists per BC Labour Law that are some (not all) artists don’t want to work more than a “regular work week” no matter what. They have kids or other obligations, whatever….the infamous, “no I have a life” line.

    Under IATSE own rules, NO ONE gets to refuse OT as long as you’re paid (a soundman can’t walk off set after hour 12 because ‘he’s got a life’). Almost NO VFX project currently gets delivered working 40 hour weeks (I think we can all agree on that). Why wouldn’t an employer working under IA rules act to work everyone 12 hour days (their discretion) early in the show (paying some 1.5 time OT) and for most of the show so they don’t end up paying double time/triple and/or 7th days in the last 4 to 6 weeks before delivery. It’s cheaper to amortize long (but not super long double time) days over more weeks than suck up HUGE amounts of triple time in the last third of the show before delivery. Yes some work has to wait for plate delivery but some (3D modelling/texturing etc) can certainly be worked earlier/for longer hours if it trims double and triple time closer to the end of show.

    To me, the logic of costs says, artist who currently work for companies who do adhere to BC Labour Law and they’re are many such companies (and were listed by artists on VFX Vancouver) will end up working more hours and not be able to turn down OT (which they can now). That doesn’t seem like better ‘work/life balance’

    If you’re an artist working at one of these companies who completely ignore labour laws (also listed by artists on VFX Vancouver) I guess what IA’s offering might sound like a godsend but no one has disputed my claim that the foreign owned companies (DD MPC, Zoic Etc) could and probably will cut back (both in number of artists and base rate offered for said artists) and maybe eventually close shop if the Vancouver facility goes union before the “mother facility’ in London or LA and costs make it more expensive to do the work in Vancouver rather than LA or London.

    And again, all I’m hearing is angry “poor me artist types”….you don’t seem to care about on set workers and their concerns…so why exactly should I care about your plight??? You (the artists) have been the ones trying to force a schism in the VFX community (“US artists whose concerns are THE most important” and “Everyone else who should just stay out of OUR union issue”). I’ve been continually pointing out issues for BOTH artists and on set/production workers. Overall I’d say that sounds a lot less “selfish” than you.

  9. anonymous... says:

    And if any of my claimed facts is wrong, it’s not for lack of trying. As I’ve said over and over, IATSE has not consulted with the VFX community and continues to dodge legitimate questions (which also offer them the opportunity to “correct” and errors in my and other peoples claimed facts). This whole thread (which has gotten angrier and angrier on your front….yes I’m talking to YOU “Sandra” and you “Rolling Red”) was started by me making 3 points of concerns and asking IA to answer….in all this sniping back and forth, the ONLY comment IA891 has offered is an apology for “mistakingly” deleting one of my posts.

    I’ll repeat again…answer the concerns I and others have pointed out IA….correct any factual errors. The reason for any factual error is because of your “wall of silence” to the VFX community. This is you site, you administer it. POST YOUR ANSWERS. Simple solution really. Yet you continue to stonewall.

    • Anonymous says:

      lower case anonymous…
      My experience is very different from yours. I met with Dusty Kelly. She is willing to spend time with people one on one confidentially. She spent 2 hrs talking to me and answering my questions. I read that she met with you too in person. And you say that IA is stonewalling or not consulting with vfx community. You met with her yourself. You just don’t sound reasonable or credible. Now there will be a meeting, specifically to answer questions. But you say that you won’t go. Whatever… you don’t make much sense at all.

      • anonymous... says:

        All I got from my face to face meeting with the IA rep was ‘standard party line” and unwillingness to discuss anything that the union didn’t deem “correct” in their opinion. Basically, “No you don’t get a vote, please move on” and “why wouldn’t you sign up? You don’t get OT now, you will under us”. She never answered my question as to why IA members from other areas (grips/script supers) are being allowed to list themselves as VFX professionals with ZERO training or experience and under cut the going rates (sometimes by half) to steal jobs from qualified VFX professionals, whether union or non union.

        VEABC and several independent senior VFX people (more senior than me and I’ve been doing this a long time) tried to get a meeting with IA on several occasion and were continually ignored. I suspect IA loves “one on one confidential meetings” because they can taylor what they say specifically to that one person’s concerns but never officially, publicly putting it out there.

        They’re a union of thousands, trying to absorb hundreds more and in 2 years they’ve only JUST started to consider meeeting with us in large forums. That’s arrogance. I don’t have a lot of trust after 2 years of them ignoring us and from what I got out of my “one on one” with the IA rep. If you’re an artist at a VFX shop, you get a shop vote to go 891 or not. Great, as a freeelance production hired person, that’s ALL i want. A vote on my livelihood. STill being denied by IATSE. Our positions are different. Glad you think IA is a great deal. I and many of my coworkers on the production side don’t agree. But then again, you get a vote. We’re the “VFX Suffragettes” and you the ones with the right to vote, are telling us “What are you complaining about?”

  10. Sandra says:

    Anonymous….
    You are making up Overtime laws just like the studios do. WTF are you talking about? You contradicted your self in every paragraph you write. Either the union offers overtime or it doesn’t, Either they have control over who is hired or they don’t. Either they control how much you make or they don’t.

    Pick one and stick with it. You’re all over the place trying to prove a point that doesn’t exist.

    • anonymous says:

      You’re either confused or just too angry (again) to make sense “Sandra”.

      I’ve always said the union offers OT (time and half, double time, triple time etc). But what are you possibly “giving up” to get it? Do you lose any right to turn down OT (as set people do)?

      My point is what EXACTLY (IA still hasn’t clarified this point) does “up to a 12 hour day” mean. Does it mean a company can (if they “deem it necessary”) work artists 11 or 12 hours EVERY day under IA rules? Doing so will require them to pay a few hours of “time and a half” OT, but over the course of a project, maybe they’d rather eat that time and a half rather than the massive amounts of double time/potential triple time that will inevitably happen during the last 4 to 6 weeks “crunch time” before delivery. On Paper, it sounds like it’s possible (and I really wish IA would answer the question) that an artist could be working MORE hours than they do now (if they work at a company who currently does adhere to BC Labour Laws). If you work at a company currently taking advantage of you, yes under IA you get OT, but you may be working the exact same number of hours with NO ability to turn down OT.

      On this point I’m just asking the union to clarify what’s printed in the collective agreement because, as written, it can (and has been by many VFX people) be interpreted in MANY ways.

  11. vfx_truth says:

    “According to our soon to be released survey the overwhelming majority of artists who responded do not have an employer sponsored health benefit plan nor an employer sponsored retirement plan.”

    A competitive Health Benefits package and group RRSP plan can be purchased, at a sizeable discount, by any group of people, anywhere. Get five or ten of your co-workers together, make a few phone calls, and there are your benefits.

    You do not need a Union for this. It’s a scam. Give up your freedom, your self-determination, your flexible working hours, and in return they will give you something that you can get for yourself, and charge you for the privilege.

    Wake up people. These guys are selling you s*** and calling it brown sugar.

    • iatse891vfx says:

      Dear vfx_truth: You are right, 5-10 people can get together and purchase a plan, however the plan will be far more costly for those individuals then a pooled plan with several thousand members. In addition, our members’ employers’ contribute the premiums for the plan. As for a retirement plan, there is no off the shelf plan on the market that enjoys the low, low management expense ratio fee that the Canadian Entertainment Industry Retirement Plan (CEIRP) has negotiated, a $100,000,000 and growing retirement plan for IATSE and DGC members across Canada. It’s about the best plan at the best price. Every one percent of MERs can equal $70-100,000 in an individuals retirement, money in your pocket not in the banks and investment firms. Here again IA891 members’ employers also contribute into the member’s plans. Local 891 places a high priority on delivering quality, cost effective benefits plans to our members. Check out our http://vfx.iatse.com/faq.aspx for more information

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