Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Deal For BC Master Production Agreement

After a year of negotiations, the Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP), the Canadian Affiliates of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the B.C. Producers’ Branch of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) have announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on the terms of settlement regarding a renewed British Columbia Master Production Agreement (BCMPA) set to expire on March 31, 2009.

Rob Morton, Chair of the UBCP Negotiating Committee, stated that "It has been a long journey for performers in B.C. We entered into this process with the intention of reaching a fair agreement for all our members and the industry in B.C. and I believe that we achieved that goal. Our committee and constituency caucus worked tirelessly to represent the interests of our membership and this deal will demonstrate the results of that hard work."

Negotiations were facilitated by Vincent L. Ready, the B.C. Ministry of Labour appointed mediator, whose recommendations served to keep the parties focused on a joint agreement.

"We are proud to say that we have firmly pursued the best interests of our members, performers across the country and performers throughout North America, while maintaining industry stability in B.C." said Howard Storey, UBCP’s President. "It was extraordinary to have the unwavering support of our membership throughout this process for over 365 days of bargaining. No Union could ask for more from its members."

Mercedes Watson, Chief Negotiator and Chief Executive Officer of UBCP commented that "The industry in B.C has experienced incredible growth over the past decade and it continues to mature. British Columbia has established itself as one of the most important production centres in North America. The high quality talent pool in this province has assisted in creating some of the most successful programs on both TV and in the cinema. The agreement reached between the UBCP, AMPTP, and CFTPA is respectful of that maturity and illustrates a commitment by both parties to the future growth of the industry."

The Union’s Executive Board and Negotiating Committee will be recommending acceptance of these terms of settlement to the full UBCP membership. The terms of settlement for the new BCMPA are subject to ratification by the eligible voting members of the UBCP. The Union expects to conclude a referendum within the next month.

UBCP (The Union of British Columbia Performers) is an independent branch of ACTRA, a national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. UBCP represents the interests of over 5,100 members (including yours truly) in British Columbia and the Yukon.