Producers, ACTRA close to new contract

Producers and actors emerged from talks Friday with words of co-operation and maintaining, for the most part, status quo.

What a difference two years and a recession make. Producers and actors say they are close to signing a new contract on independent production, and on Friday emerged from talks with words of co-operation and maintaining, for the most part, the status quo.

The tentative terms for the new Independent Production Agreement revealed by ACTRA, the CFTPA and the APFTQ would give actors a 2% pay hike each year for three years, leaving the rest of the contract unchanged.

‘Given these uncertain economic times, both sides agreed that it was in the industry’s best interest to work co-operatively to come to a quick, simple deal,’ said ACTRA national president Richard Hardacre in a statement.

ACTRA went on strike in 2007 following bitter and prolonged talks over the previous IPA and its provisions for new media in particular. That contract is set to expire in 2010. Like the current agreement, the new IPA leaves the door open to potential renegotiation on new media issues.

‘Our industry is facing some significant challenges right now,’ said John Barrack, chief negotiator for the CFTPA, which represents English-language producers. ‘Our energy is much better spent working together fighting our shared battle before the CRTC and elsewhere to ensure a strong independent production sector, rather than wasting time fighting each other.’

Producers will negotiate separately with the Union of B.C. Performers.