Freelancer Questions

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Does the local union hire employees on behalf of contracted companies?

No. Local 748 is not a hiring hall. You must sell yourself and your skills to each employer for work.

Why should I become a member if it doesn't guarantee me work?

Union membership is supporting the ideal of community and the power that community provides. Items like benefits, holiday pay, minimum rates, and specific working conditions at the job site are accomplished by bargaining as a community with our employers. We care about our co-workers needs rather than our own. You may not need the benefits the union provides, but there are many of our fellow freelancers whose families rely on the benefits. As a member of Local 748 you have access to the monthly meetings and craft committees that determine what items will be re-negoiated in new CBAs. As a member, you get to help decide how local funds are spent by proposing expendetures and voting on expedetures at monthly meetings. As a member, you have the abiity to run for local offices and become a part of the leadership of our local union.

Who tells the union what to do?

Our members drive how our local union operates. Whatever the local members vote on at meetings, the leadership does. The union acts as your Weingarten representation if you need a rep at a meeting with management. We also enforce the rates and working conditions of the CBAs we hold with the various employers.

What is a CBA?

CBA stands for Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is a contract between the union and employer that governs working conditions and rates.

What positions (crafts) are covered by the CBA?

Currently we cover the following crafts: Technical Director, Audio A1, Audio A2, Audio A3, Video V1, Video V2, Graphics Operator, Graphics Coordinator, Hard Camera Operator, Handheld Camera Operator, Robotic Camera Operator, Jib Operator, Capture Playback Operator 3, Capture Playback Operator 2, Capture Playback Operator 1, Score Box Operator, Redhat/TV Timeout Coordinator (unless hired directly by a school or league), Senior Utility, Utility, Phone AD, Stage Manager, Runner, ENG/EFP Grip, ENG/EFP Audio, and ENG/EFP Camera.

If someone is listed in just one craft can they work in other positions?

If you are qualified to do so, we have members working in multiple crafts. Usually, you will be hired at the inexperienced rate for that new craft and your qualification will be tested. Upon determination of your qualification for the new craft, the employer or local business agent will add you to that craft on the Referral List.

What networks are union shows?

Locally, all Fox Sports Arizona hired shows producing professional sports and NCAA Division 1 (football and men’s basketball). Home and Visiting Suns (hired by BBP) regardless of network and all TRO hired shows.

I travel on a national package. Do my CBA benefits travel with me?

If you travel with a national or regional company we have a CBA with (ie. Fox Sports), your local CBA pay rates and travel stipulations will be paid. You also will be given the working conditions of the market you travel to.

Does the union set the rates that the company will pay me?

No, we only set minimum rates for each craft we represent in our contract. You are free to make any deal above the minimum that you can get your employer to agree to. Just like any other non-union employer you work for. We encourage every freelancer to do this.

If your employer will not pay you above our union negotiated minimum rate it is not because of our union. It will be because the company does not want to pay the rate you requested.

Is everyone working under the terms of your union contract? Even non-members?

Yes, by law our contract must apply to every freelancer hired by a company under our contract.

I am a non-member and don't like some of the terms in the union contract. What can I do to make changes to the contract?

Become a member. Only members have a voice in what gets negotiated in our contracts. Membership gives you that voice.

Are we automatically enrolled into your benefit plans once a company under your contract hires us?

Yes, once you meet the conditions set by the National Benefits Fund, you will automatically be enrolled into the plan. Federal law stipulates that everyone must receive the benefit we negotiate in our CBAs, regardless of membership in the local union.

I used to work every baseball game in a home stand. Now because of the union I'm not booked to work every game anymore. Why can't I work every day of the baseball home stand?

You still can. There is nothing in the IATSE contract that prevents your employer from hiring you every day of the home stand. The reason they don't hire most people for more than 5 days in a workweek is because they don't want to pay overtime. Federal law states they have to pay overtime after a 40 hour week. There is a common tactic used by companies to claim the 40 hour work week is the union's fault. This is patently false. This is a federal requirement and many companies simply illegally ignore it hoping not to get caught. Your employer has the ability to pay you overtime after the 40 hours and have you work every day. Some choose not to for budgetary reasons and, because all of our contracted companies follow federal law, they choose not to pay the overtime.

My spouse has really good health insurance. How can I use the health and welfare money I am paid? Can I just cash it out?

You are not able to withdraw the money as cash but you are able to enroll in the Medical Reimbursement plan through the National Benefits Fund. You will have to prove existing coverage but, once verified, you will be able to get 100% reimbursement for qualified medical benefits (ie. co-pays, deductables). The fund will review your reimbursement request and then send you a check for the approved amount.

Who do I contact if I feel the union contract has been violated?

E-mail the Business Agent at iatse748busrep@gmail.com or call 888-610-3342 x3 with your concern.

I want to join the union. Is there an initiation fee required to join the union?

Yes, it is currently $300: This includes your fees to join the international and local as well as paying your first quarter of dues.

 

Member Questions

I am late paying my union dues. What are the repercussions?

If you are 45 days late paying your dues, you are placed in a Not In Good Standing status and are not allowed to participate in union activities until your dues are paid in full. This includes attending general meetings or voting on any matter before the membership. If you are over 2 quarters (six months) late you will receive a certified letter from the Union notifying you of the amount you are past due. You will have ten days to pay the amount in full. As specified in our constitution, if we don't receive your payment you will be expelled from membership.

How much are the dues & membership fees?

In addition to Working Dues of 1%, local dues are based on the International dues per quarter plus $20. The 2016 rate is $73 per quarter.

How often do I have to pay the dues?

Once every quarter (Jan 1, April 1, July 1 & Oct 1).

Where do I send my quarterly dues and 1% referral fee?

All payments to Local 748 should be sent to our PO Box:

IATSE Local 748
P.O. Box 1191

Phoenix, AZ 85001

I'm a member. I have an issue with my employer that is not addressed in our contract. What can my union do for me?

The only thing we can do is start a conversation with the employer. Only items that are addressed in our contract are enforceable through the grievance process. All other concerns are not enforceable through contract language. If you have a situation you feel is unfair, we will participate in an investigation process to determine if the CBA was violated and help you resolve the issue with your employer.

Can I still work non-union shows?

Local 748 does not want any freelancer to turn down work, but we also insist you request to be payrolled through a contracted employer so you can receive your benefits. Our contracted employers support us and we need to support them in return.

Does the union protect me from being cut from a position?

No, the contract does not prevent any employer from modifying their shows by reducing the number of positions or changing personnel based on Producer or Director requests. However, if you feel you were unjustly removed from a position you have held for many years, please contact us and we will investigate the validity of the change in employment.