The IATSE’s strike-averting deal means better pay on streaming

Streaming services may pay up to 30 percent more to production workers as part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) deal with major Hollywood studios to avert a strike.

The union tweeted a document that specifically outlined the new streaming terms of the tentative Basic Agreement. According to the one-sheet, the new agreement would secure higher wages for episodic streaming productions, including longform miniseries with runtimes longer than 66 minutes.

Payouts on some miniseries could increase up to 30 percent, which will depend on how the project is classified. Longform productions that cost between $20 and $32 million, meanwhile, will no longer get a discount on account of the production heading to a streaming service. This type of production, too, will see a rate increase of up to 30 percent in some cases, the union said.

Production crew represented by IATSE who are working on low-budget productions of 20 minutes or longer will get better wages, terms, and conditions, but the details are vague. The document specified only that this category of productions was tentatively to be “set at no less than the mid-budget wages, terms and conditions.”

The union also tweeted fact sheets related to wages and workplace conditions — both points of contention as the union worked to negotiate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for better labor protections for its members. Much is left unclear by the one-sheets, however, particularly where it relates to streaming.

“We intend to provide as much information [as] possible, and as soon as possible,” the union said in a tweet. “That way, each of us will have a chance to get the full picture and make an informed decision regarding our shared future.”

As negotiations between the IATSE and AMPTP stalled prior to last week, the union’s members voted nearly unanimously to strike — an event that was planned for this week should contract negotiations continue to be held up. The strike was narrowly avoided when a tentative agreement was reached between the two organizations over the weekend. The contract must be ratified by the union’s members, however, some of whom have characterized the terms as failing to meet their demands. Members could ultimately choose to vote against it.