NCA – FAQ
Click on the questions below to quickly get the answers you need:
Revised: September 25, 2023
No. ACTRA knows the importance of dialogue and doing everything that is reasonable to achieve a deal. It’s not in our history to walk away from the table. The mediator determined the parties were too far apart to reach an agreement.
A mediator is a neutral third party who assists parties with the goal to resolve conflict. ACTRA and the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) began working with a new mediator on July 11th, 2023. During this process, the mediator requested a media blackout, requiring confidentiality to facilitate blunt and productive conversations in the hope of expediting the process of reaching an agreement. Mediation ended on September 18, 2023.
Mediation ended because mediator Eli Gedalof determined that “it will not be productive to continue the mediation at this time, and I am therefore formally ending this round of mediation. I have concluded that the parties are simply too far apart on issues that are fundamental to each, and that the conditions are not ripe for compromise at this time.”
ACTRA and the ICA remain extremely far apart. The ICA is proposing concessions and discounts of up to 59%. They have also proposed a huge loophole to give our work away to non-union performers by redrafting the language in the NCA provision on “Extraordinary Circumstances” to give themselves the automatic right to do so based on criteria they set.
Basically, their proposal seeks automatic approval of any production that fits any one of the following criteria:
- a budget less than $25K;
- user-generated content designed solely for social media, websites, and other applications; and/or
- none of the content for production has been recorded by the Agency.
The ICA/ACA is also proposing that all large cast commercials with budgets over $300k, with 4+ camera moves, and/or engaging 6+ PP or SOC roles would be considered as an Extraordinary Circumstance and be automatically approved by ACTRA and given access to the ICA/ACA’s proposed National Low Budget Digital & Television Pilot Project rates – 53-57% cut to current NCA rates.
Extraordinary Circumstances are just that – extraordinary, uncommon, rare. This NCA article is intended to address exceptional situations that live outside of the current structure of the NCA and require special consideration. These requests are submitted to ACTRA for consideration and approval or rejected depending on the circumstances. It is not the ICA/ACA’s place to set, control, and approve these Extraordinary Circumstances.
The Bundle rates proposed by ACTRA maintained the 1-year rates that had been included in the ACA-ACTRA deal. We did however - following the advice of ACTRA Membership adjust the 13-week and 6-month rates so the bundle discount percentage is consistent across all performance categories (5% Discount for 13-Weeks Use; 21% Discount for 6-Month Use; and 26% Discount for 1-Year Use). The ICA/ACA is looking for deeper discounts than those in the ACA-ACTRA deal and a 4-week bundle option that would see even further cuts to residuals.
The 8% increase would apply to the rates in the agreement that are not specifically referenced in the ICA’s low budget proposals - i.e. session fees, overtime, additional work time, demo sessions, etc. Although, in theory, this increase will also apply to all of the Use tables in the NCA, given their low budget proposals capture commercials that are not “low” budget, these increased Use rates will rarely be used, if at all. They will, simply put, be numbers on a page rather than earnings in a Performers’ wallet.
The NCA was ratified by both ACTRA membership and the ACA and it remains in place for another year, until May 31, 2024. ACTRA will continue to work with the ACA, the agencies and brands that value unionized ACTRA Performers.
AI has emerged as one of the most important issues facing workers across the screen-based industry. This is a key issue for all ACTRA Performers in bargaining with the ICA/ACA and ACTRA has proposed the following to protect the voice and likeness of Performers:
“The Engager expressly agrees not to utilize any portion of any recording or performance of a Performer: to simulate or alter a Performer’s voice or likeness; to create any synthesized performance or “digital double” voice or likeness of a Performer; or for machine learning (collectively AI tech).
In addition, the Engager specifically agrees not to sell or transfer ownership of all or part of any of the recordings or performance of a Performer to any third party without the Performer’s knowledge and written consent.”
ACTRA has also made a substantive submission to the federal committee that is working on new legislation to regulate harmful uses of AI.
The ICA/ACA is proposing to establish a committee. We don't need another committee. We need action now.
A labour strike is when workers are unable to reach an agreement during the collective bargaining process and collectively decide to stop working. Unlike strikes that are initiated by workers, a lockout is initiated solely by employers who refuse to provide work to workers as a tactic to pressure them into accepting the employer’s terms.
ACTRA continues to lead a national boycott campaign and will continue actions, rallies and information pickets, supported in full by the Canadian Labour Congress.
ACTRA will continue disrupting ICA commercial shoots that use replacement workers.
While the lockout continues, ACTRA is fighting at the Ontario Labour Relations Board where hearings on our complaint against the ICA/ACA of bargaining in bad faith are ongoing.
ACTRA has strengthened ties with other unions and is working on a strategic organizing plan.
ACTRA is taking our fight to next week’s FIA executive board seeking global solidarity and support to end the lockout.
Be our eyes and ears. If you know of a non-union commercial shoot or breakdown, please contact your ACTRA Branch.
Don’t work non-union. Joining the ICA in making low-paid, no-benefits commercials helps it bust our union. If you’re unsure which agencies work with the ICA, contact your local ACTRA office.
Support commercial performers. Even if you don’t make commercials, support performers who do—because union-busting spreads.
Visit actra.ca as ACTRA continues to ramp up actions across Canada to urgently fight corporate greed by turning up the pressure on union-busting advertisers. All members are encouraged to take part in this fight: Sign our boycott here