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IATSE 514’s history began the day a group of film technicians decided to claim a true recognition of their skills and work, as well as a rightful place for Montreal and the rest of Quebec in the North American film industry.
When IATSE 514 was founded in 2005, the existing Act Respecting The Professional Status And Conditions Of Engagement Of Performing, Recording And Film Artists (Chapter S32.1) officially recognised only some fifteen film occupations – said to have a more “artistic nature” – among the hundred or so very real crafts mastered by film technicians, all of which are required to produce a motion picture.
Having no recognised legal status made it hard for film technicians to establish a solid bargaining position from which they could negotiate their working conditions. Although a number of their associations had tried through the years, none of these succeeded in settling the fundamental issue of the film technician's legal status. In fact, from the sixties onward, no less than seven film technician associations came and went, and all of these were confronted to this same old problem.
What to do? How about starting a little revolution? Forget the associations, why not start a real labour union and put a formal request the Commission des relations de travail (Labour Relation Board) to represent the film technicians to be hired by a major motion picture production to be shot in Quebec? No more waiting for the government to discover some “artistic nature” in the work we do. We film technicians are now film workers. As for the artistic recognition, we will know among ourselves when a job is well done.
The newly created IATSE 514 caused enough waves to bring about fundamental changes to Chapter S32.1, although these occurred only in 2009, following long negotiations. Since, its scope was extended to include technicians working in film, television and other audio-visual productions. The amended act also redefined the negotiating sectors as well as the jurisdictions of the labour associations within the industry.
To accomplish all of this, the new Quebec union joined the ranks of IATSE, the most important labour organization in the entertainment industry in North America. We also joined the FTQ, the largest labour organization In Québec, whose president was by our side during the parliamentary commission that debated the amendments to Chapter S32.1.
In conclusion, two facts remain outstanding. First, IATSE 514 members are talented professionals that have a true appreciation for the work they do, that thrive on success and that would prefer not to rely only on public funds to earn a living. Secondly, since 2009, the number of major motion picture productions shot in Quebec is higher than it has ever been.
May 1, 2014: AQTIS initiates a process without weighing the consequences, which ended only on February 22 , 2015. A process that brought us back to square one and resulted in wasted expenditure of thousands of dollars for all union organizations.
On May 1, 2014, AQTIS made a request to the CRT (Commission des relations de travail) asking to merge sectors 3 and 4 for American productions as they've been determined by Act 32 in 2009.These two sectors are specific to independent American productions. Sector 3 includes productions made with less than $35 M that falls mostly under AQTIS responsibilities and sector 4, which includes productions made with more than $35 M, which are for the biggest part under IATSE 514 responsibilities. In doing ao, AQTIS tried to remove IATSE 514 from sector 4, which resulted in an abject failure: AQTIS had to withdraw its request to the CRT.
It will enable peace to take hold in the industry and pursue our efforts to improve working environment.
September 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of IATSE 514.
It is most enthusiastically that we are welcoming the years to come.
Keeping up our efforts to ensure continued improvement of working conditions for all technicians is IATSE 514' priority. Making sure collective agreement are being respected and that wages increase year after year is also part of our priority.
At IATSE 514, we are motivated by a constant concern for quality service offered to all the professionals of the film industry who must benefits in all time of valuable advice and exercise their functions confidently.
For IATSE 514, it is fundamental to be able to offer the services deemed essential such as Union Representatives as well as Health & Safety representatives. No less importantly is IATSE 514 being able to offer programs like Personal Safety Equipment or the Training Program.