2021 – 2024 BC Master Production Agreement Extension
Updated: July 11, 2023
Why do all Unions have to have the same expiry date?
As a result of a Labour Board decision in 2010 (BCLRB No. B47/2010), the industry Unions are required to comply with various items related to collective bargaining, including the practice of common expiry dates.
What happens if one of the Unions doesn’t agree/ratify?
If one of the Unions doesn’t agree or ratify, the extension won’t apply to any of the Unions and collective bargaining will commence prior to the expiry of the current agreement.
If UBCP/ACTRA is the only one of the 5 BC unions to reject the 1-year extension, is there a possibility that we could be forced into the BC Council of Film Unions by the Labour Relations Board?
Under Section 41 of the BC Labour Relations Code, the Labour Minister can direct the Labour Relations Board to consider whether to mandate the establishment of a council of trade unions in order to enhance labour stability in the film industry. The BC Council of Film Unions (BCCFU), currently comprised of IATSE Local 891, ICG Local 669 and Teamsters Local 155, was formed under a previous Section 41 process. As a result, those 3 unions operate under and negotiate 1 main collective agreement. UBCP/ACTRA, along with the Directors Guild of Canada, BC, have their own individual agreements and negotiate them separately from the Council.
There was a Section 41 proceeding since the Council was established that examined whether UBCP/ACTRA and the DGC should be mandated into the BCCFU in order to maximize labour stability. We were successful in arguing against such an inclusion at the time, but the Board imposed a number of conditions, including requirements that the UBCP participate in the industry Association of trade unions, that the 5 unions coordinate with each other with respect to their bargaining positions, and that all of the collective agreements have a common expiry date.
However, the threat of another Section 41 process being initiated by the Labour Minister on behalf of producers, or by another union, always exists.
You can read the last Section 41 decision here: https://www.ubcpactra.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Fleming-Decision-BCLRC-B47-2010-Mar-17-10.pdf
How long is the ratification period?
Ratification is open from 9AM July 7th to 5PM July 20th.
When would the wage increase come into effect?
The 5% wage increase would come into effect March 31, 2024.
Why a 5% wage increase?
The AMPTP and DGA just reached an agreement which contained a 5% wage increase for the first year, setting the pattern for all other negotiations in the US and Canada.
What rates would the 5% increase apply to?
The 5% wage increase would apply to the minimum fees in the agreement, including the hourly and daily rates, but not to expenses. For example, the increase would apply to a Wardrobe Call as it is based on the hourly rate, but not to a Wardrobe Change fee as it is an expense.
The chart at the bottom of the page demonstrates the impact of the 5% on the daily fees and the compounding of the Use Fees and Insurance and Retirement contributions.
What is a negotiation vs an extension?
An extension lengthens the current 3-year contract to 4 years; it would go from a 3-year agreement with general wage increases per year of 3%, 3%, 3% to a 4-year agreement with 3%, 3%, 3%, 5%.
Unlike negotiations, no other provisions of the current agreement would be modified as part of an extension. Negotiations provide an opportunity for both sides to put forward proposed modifications of the agreement – the process is one of give and take with both sides looking to make improvements.
Why delay bargaining by 1 year when we have so many issues to resolve?
We recognize our Members have strong expectations for us to achieve gains at the bargaining table. If we go to the bargaining table now when production levels are low, we have less leverage to achieve those gains. Our strategy is always to capitalize on the gains made by the US Unions. The biggest reason to agree to the extension is to provide our members with stable employment in the near term. Keep in mind this is only a 1-year extension and we will utilize that time to build on our strategy for 2025.
Are we able to address other issues such as a pension increase?
A contract extension is just that, an extension of the current contract. Since we are not bargaining with the employer, this is simply an agreement to extend the contract by one year in exchange for a 5% wage increase. No other topics will be negotiated until we return to the bargaining table.
What are other things to consider?
- The 5% wage increase which is the largest one-year increase in the history of our Collective Agreement.
- This extension will provide labour stability in our jurisdiction. As we are witnessing a global slow down in productions amid labour unrest and corporate restructuring and other factors, our hope is that offering a stable jurisdiction to work in until the expiration of the 1-year extended contract (20 months) will position us favourably as the business begins to ramp up.
- We are showing solidarity with the other BC industry union workers, who are also experiencing a reduction in production.
- We are bringing the expiry dates of the IPA and BCMPA closer together, which we have been trying to achieve for almost 20 years. It will also help better align the agreements.
- An extension could realign our 3-year bargaining cycle to Executive Board elections, allowing new incoming Board members time to grow into their positions before negotiations.
- An extension provides more time for the issue of Safe Harbour agreements to be determined by the BC Labour Relations Board.
- The wage compound. Our current agreement has a 3% general wage increase in all 3
years of the term. This results in a 9.27% increase over 3 years as each increase is on
top of the previous increases we have seen. You can look at this as a 1-year extension
with a 5% increase or as a 4-year contract that compounds to 14.75% at the expiration.
- A 1-year extension means we are unable to bargain any other terms and conditions for another year, such as Artificial Intelligence.
- The extension ratification period could end before SAG-AFTRA reaches an agreement.
Who is eligible to vote?
- All Full Active Members in good standing who have worked under the 2018-2021 BCMPA from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2021 and/or under the 2021-2024 BCMPA from April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2023
- All Full Active Members who were not active Full Active Members during the qualification period but who may qualify under one of the other eligibility criteria
- Apprentice Members who have 2 engagements in a residual category under the 2021-2024 BCMPA from April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2023
- Apprentice Members in a background role for 8 work days per year under under 2021-2024 BCMPA from April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2023.
- Additional Background Performers who have worked in Background roles for at least 15 work days per year under the 2021-2024 BCMPA from April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2023
If you have additional questions please reach out to the union at email@example.com.