The Arts and Cultural Workers Union (ACWU) IATSE B-778 and the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) have successfully concluded bargaining their first collective agreement. Workers at CAG voted to join IATSE B-778 in July of 2020 and negotiations began last fall.
Both parties were eager to reach an agreement that worked well for the employer and for the workers. Negotiations progressed smoothly and concluded in late March. On Thursday, April 1, members of ACWU IATSE Local B-778 voted unanimously in favour of the agreement, effective immediately. Highlights of the three-year agreement covering eight CAG employees are: annual wage increases of 9% in the first year, 3.5% in each of the 2nd and 3rd years, a signing bonus split equally amongst the employees, and the inclusion of casual workers within the bargaining unit.
The CAG staff collectively stated, “Our effort to unionize was driven by a commitment to improving the working conditions at CAG for the current team and the many who will follow as the organization continues to grow. Through the solidarity within our bargaining unit, as well as the enormous support from ACWU and IATSE representatives we, notably, were able to successfully bargain for the inclusion of most temporary and contract workers in the bargaining unit moving forward, and higher wages with sustained increases for all staff. We’re really looking forward to continuing this process of enacting sectoral change with the greater arts community in Vancouver.”
CAG Executive Director Matthew Hyland added, “As we enter our 50th year of operations, this agreement sets the stage for continued stability and growth for CAG and our staff. We extend thanks to the ACWU, IATSE, and the CAG team for their collaboration during the bargaining process.”
About the ACWU
The ACWU has established units for independent visual artists, media artists, illustrators, photographers, gallery administrators, studio assistants, curators, cultural workers, freelance creative practitioners, and tattoo artists. Other gallery and arts workers looking for union representation can contact ACWU IATSE B-778 President Jonny Sopotiuk at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 604-368-4447.
About the Contemporary Art Gallery
Established in 1971 the Contemporary Art Gallery is the longest standing free public art gallery in Vancouver dedicated exclusively to presenting contemporary art. Throughout its history, CAG has provided landmark institutional exhibitions for Canadian artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, and Liz Magor, as well as international artists such as Francis Alÿs, Nan Goldin, Cai Guo-Qiang and Corita Kent. The Contemporary Art Gallery is a publicly funded institution, generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC through the BC Arts Council and the BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. For more information on the gallery, please visit www.contemporaryartgallery.ca.