VANCOUVER, BC – On September 24, animation workers at Titmouse Vancouver made history by voting to ratify the IATSE’s first animation agreement in Canada. Ballots revealed a resounding 96.9% in support of the new agreement. The agreement will cover approximately 200 workers and also marks the first-ever contract for the recently chartered Animation Guild, IATSE Local 938. Workers at Titmouse voted to join the IATSE last October when over 98% voted in favour of joining the union.
In preparation for these negotiations, a survey was sent to all employees to determine their priorities and make these a focus of bargaining. Standing together resulted in success at the bargaining table. Highlights of the 4-year agreement include defined overtime procedures, increased wage minimums, improved annual wage increases, a 15% premium for employees taking on supervisory duties, increased sick/personal days (and the ability to take half-days), and enhanced RRSPs with a lower fee structure.
“There are real gains for everyone in this agreement,” remarked Emily Gossmann, IATSE Local 938 Senior Steward and member of the bargaining committee, “and these gains will be backed by the strong representation that the IATSE provides.”
“The IATSE is proud to have these talented workers within our ranks,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb, “and thrilled that they can now begin to experience similar benefits and protections to those long enjoyed by the IATSE-represented animation workers in Los Angeles.”
IATSE International Representative Jeremy Salter was instrumental in organizing the workers and in ensuring they secured a strong agreement. “Animation workers across Canada need better working conditions,” he said. “Workers are tired, underpaid and need overtime protections. Forming a union is the strongest way to address these issues.”
With the ratification behind them, Titmouse animators are looking forward to getting back to doing the work they love, now under the protection of a union agreement.
Animation workers across Canada are encouraged to contact Jeremy Salter at email@example.com if they would like to begin discussions about forming a union at their animation studio.