ACTRA, ACA agreement maintains stability for commercial sector

ACTRA and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) have agreed to a one-year renewal of the National Commercial Agreement (NCA), including the Local and Regional (L&R) Commercial Addendum, to provide stability for the industry. The renewal agreement contains a 2% increase in all minimum fees and rates while the parties jointly simplify and modernize the agreement.

Following ACTRA’s Negotiating Committee and National Council recommending the tentative agreement for ratification by members who have worked under the NCA, the renewal agreement was ratified by ACTRA Members on May 12, 2022. Current terms and conditions of the NCA remain in effect until May 31, 2022. The renewal agreement will be effective from June 1, 2022 until May 31, 2023.

“Our members perform in thousands of commercials a year. This agreement ensures we will continue to be paid fairly in a stable, collaborative industry,” said Eleanor Noble, President, ACTRA National.

The Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) will not be a co-administrator of the agreement as it was seeking terms unacceptable to the ACA or to ACTRA.

Negotiations Background

The National Commercial Agreement (NCA) covers the engagement of performers in all commercial productions (including television, radio and digital) in Canada. The NCA was historically negotiated between ACTRA and two parties that do advocacy work on behalf of their commercial industry members.

The Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) historically negotiated the NCA on behalf of advertising agencies. Not all ICA agencies are signatory to the NCA. Not all NCA signatories are members of the ICA.
The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) represents Canadian advertisers. Advertisers hire ad agencies to produce their commercials.

What’s Happening Now?

ACTRA and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) reached a tentative agreement for a one-year renewal (June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023) of the National Commercial Agreement (NCA). During this time, ACTRA and the ACA will work to simplify and modernize the NCA.

The ACA’s Board of Directors ratified the renewal agreement on May 2, 2022, and ACTRA’s membership ratified it on May 12, 2022. The ACA will continue as the administrator of the renewal agreement effective June 1, 2022.

Previously, the ICA and ACA were co-administrators of the NCA. But the ICA was seeking terms and conditions unacceptable to ACTRA and the ACA and ultimately left the bargaining table.

The ICA declared the NCA had expired. This is incorrect. The ICA’s view that its obligations (and those of agencies) have now expired turns on its belief that the NCA is not a collective agreement, but rather what it refers to as a commercial agreement. A collective agreement as defined under the Labour Relations Act of Ontario (and similar definitions apply across the country) in very broad terms as follows: “an agreement in writing between an employer or an employers’ organization, on the one hand, and a trade union that, or a council of trade unions that, represents employees of the employer or employees of members of the employers’ organization, on the other hand, containing provisions respecting terms or conditions of employment….”

Following the renewal of the National Commercial Agreement (NCA), commercials continue to be union-made with our partners in the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the many signatory engagers that respect and value the ACTRA performers who make great commercials.

ACTRA performers will only work for agencies that adhere to the NCA terms and conditions, and non-adhering agencies will not be able to use ACTRA talent on inferior non-union terms and conditions.

Questions? Read our FAQs.