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  • What is a union?
    A union is an organization of workers intent on safeguarding and advancing the conditions of their employment, such as attaining fair and higher wages, establishing safety standards, securing access to benefits while improving a work-life balance. A union increases the bargaining power of its members and often serves to protect and further the rights and interests of all workers.
  • Why do I want representation?
    In the heavily unionized entertainment industry, post production workers remain one of the few groups without basic workplace standards, benefits, and employment protections. Without a union, workers have been vulnerable to inequitable employment practices, and conditions that have left them overworked, isolated and improperly compensated. Union representation would allow post production workers to leverage their collective bargaining power when negotiating employment terms and conditions, and would provide an avenue to resolve grievances when employers fail to meet them.
  • Usually I get my benefits by working “non-affiliate.” Is that kind of like being in the union?
    The non-affiliate program is studio-exclusive and extends Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans (MPIPHP) benefits to Post Producers and Supervisors on qualifying projects. The studios only offered these benefits as a response to prior efforts to unionize. While this was a step in the right direction, the program falls far short of meeting the needs of all Post Production workers. The program currently excludes Post Coordinators and PAs and benefits do not include the Individual Account Plan (IAP) contributions for retirement, vacation or holiday pay, nor a guarantee of wage increases - amongst other shortcomings. The limited offering of non-affiliate benefits and the benefits themselves are not guaranteed. There is specific language in the non-affiliate agreement regarding who can be covered. Additionally, if that agreement changes, Post Production workers who are hired as non-affiliates may eventually (sometimes even years later) receive reduced benefits if the qualifying conditions are modified by the studios, often without warning nor our input. A union would provide us with the means to codify benefits, protections, rates and more.
  • Why aren’t post production workers already covered by a union contract?
    The Post Production Department emerged as a result of the technical advancements in the film and television making process. Historically, post production work was largely handled by the already unionized editorial team. However, as digital production became the industry standard and the responsibilities of post production scaled up, this prompted the need for workers with new specialized skills. The job functions of this group were not covered under existing union contracts, thus studios have failed to recognize these positions as union roles. As it remains, post teams are and will continue to be instrumental to the success of a production - from prep through final delivery.
  • What is the AMPTP?
    The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is a trade association representing over 350 television and film production companies in the United States. As the industry’s official collective bargaining representative, the AMPTP negotiates 58 collective bargaining agreements on behalf of studios such as Disney, Netflix and many more.
  • How do we start forming a union?
    Under the National Labor Relations Act, workers have the right to form unions several ways - but voluntary recognition and elections held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are the most common paths. The definitive first step in the process is designating a union home for Post Production workers - which would involve either working with an existing union local or the creation of a new union. Next, a majority of Post Production workers would need to sign union authorization cards. These “authorization for representation” cards are then presented to the NLRB as evidence that a majority of members of Post Production desire union representation at the bargaining table. Think of it like signing a petition saying “I would prefer to work under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by a union,” with the added protection of the list of names never being available to the AMPTP. It is critical to the process that all Post Production workers sign these cards as both a show of solidarity and a display of our collective power to the AMPTP.
  • How do we get recognition?
    The most straightforward method to force recognition is through the union authorization card signing campaign. Once signed cards are collected, the NLRB verifies the union is representing the majority of the bargaining unit, which in our case would consist of Post Producers, Supervisors, Coordinators and PAs. From there, the AMPTP would have the option to voluntarily certify the union through a simple card check - a process through which a third party verifies the authorization cards as authentic. On the other hand, if the AMPTP refuses to recognize the union, the bargaining unit has the option to file a petition for an NLRB election. With 50%+1 of the election vote, the AMPTP would be legally mandated to recognize the union as a bargaining agent for Post Production workers and begin good faith negotiations for a contract. Whew! That’s a lot right? We can do this!
  • Why can’t we just strike?
    As a group lacking the shield of a union contract, there are limits to the legal protections we are afforded during a strike. Studios can legally replace striking workers permanently. Workers may lose health insurance or other benefits. And in most states, striking workers are not eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. While strikes are powerful, they are also not easy for workers. And it is our goal to exhaust all reasonable roads to unionization before we make this demanding ask of our members. However, the truth is if the studios remain resistant to our unionization efforts, this fight may require a demonstration of our power and collective resolve. We only get what we are organized to take.
  • How can I join?
    Please fill out our WORKPLACE SURVEY and share it with your Post Production friends and colleagues. Once you become a PPG member, we will add you to our mailing list and invite you to our national PPG Slack for real time updates and communication with fellow members.
  • How can I help?
    Stay tuned! In the coming weeks and months we will hold several in-person and virtual events, meetings, and town halls. Opportunities to become more involved will be available as we move forward in the process. Until then stay informed and spread the word. More voices equal more power!
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