Starting tomorrow we will have the opportunity to vote in our historical merger with IATSE 667 and AQTIS. Over the past two months we have had three assemblies, meetings with each of our departments, and provided detailed information about all aspects of the merger. Based on questions and feedback from those meetings we wanted to provide clarity on several key issues surrounding the merger.
- The merger will provide more work: Increasing our labour pool and establishing labour peace WILL lead to more work in Quebec. Several production companies such as Netflix, CBS, Disney MGM and Sony are very excited about the potential this merger will have on the film and television industry.
- Prepaid annual dues: As part of our financial contribution to this new IATSE local, approximately $2M will be used to cover the annual dues of all members in good standing as of December 31, 2020. We estimate that this will result in no annual dues for approximately 4 years, for a savings of up to $1,000 per member.
- Our health plan is protected: The health plans of each organization have been protected with the merger agreement and will stay separate legal entities, independent of our new organization. During the transition period and for the immediate future, nothing changes with the respective Health Plans and the new organization is protected should the health plan of any organization face financial trouble.
- The new organization has a solid surplus budget: We want to ensure that we remain able to deliver high quality services to our members, improve our bargaining capacity, and support our members and our draft expenses reflect this. The draft budget is part of your vote package and with this in mind we budgeted a healthy surplus for our new organization.
- This has been a long and thorough process: Throughout the winter and early spring of 2020, the three organizations held several meetings to discuss structure, finances, and timelines for the creation of our new organization. Once the parties had established a new constitution and bylaws for the new organization and a merger protocol, it was agreed that this information would be shared with the members of each organization in preparations for a vote.
- Members have the final say: We believe that the members of 514 are the highest decision-making body of our union. It is for that reason that the final decision on all aspects of this merger will be put to a vote. A referendum on the merger is the most democratic way to make this important decision.
- This is about unity: As a union we know that there is strength in numbers. We do better when we work together. That is why 79% of IATSE 667 members in Quebec voted 94.2% in favour of the merger. A united labour force in Quebec only makes us stronger.
As mentioned above, all the information you need to make an informed decision was emailed to you as part of your vote package. Tomorrow you will receive an email from Simply Voting with your access to vote online. Voting is open from September 17 at 9:00AM until September 23 at 5:00PM. Finally, we encourage you to vote yes for this important merger.
The IATSE 514 team