Frequently Asked Questions

About the renewal agreement

1. What is the status of the National Commercial Agreement?
ACTRA and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year renewal of the National Commercial Agreement (NCA), including the Local and Regional Commercial Addendum. The renewal agreement was ratified by the ACA’s Board of Directors on May 2 and by ACTRA Members on May 12. The renewal agreement includes a 2% increase to all rates and fees and is effective from June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023, over which time ACTRA and the ACA will work to simplify and modernize the NCA.

The current terms and conditions of the NCA remain in effect until May 31, 2022.
2. Does the renewal agreement also apply to the Local and Regional (L&R) Commercial Addendum?
Yes. The NCA and L&R Commercial Addendum are one collective agreement containing all of our workplace terms and conditions. The 2% increase will also apply to the rates and fees outlined in the L&R Commercial Addendum.
3. What are the ICA and ACA?
The Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) are organizations that do advocacy work on behalf of their commercial industry members. The ICA represents advertising and media agencies, and the ACA directly represents advertisers.
4. The Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) says the NCA has expired. Is this true?
No. 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 current terms and conditions of the NCA remain in effect until May 31, 2022. The ACA will continue as the NCA’s sole-administrator once the renewal agreement takes effect on June 1, 2022.

Work questions

1. Who can ACTRA performers work with?
ACTRA performers working on commercials must do so under the NCA with signatory engagers. The current NCA remains in effect until May 31, 2022. The ICA is saying the NCA is no longer in effect. That is not true. The NCA remains in effect. Be careful to ensure that when you accept work, you are working on an ACTRA contract under the NCA.
2. What do I do if I am unsure a work opportunity is being shot under an ACTRA contract?
Casting breakdowns that are sent for a specific commercial production should highlight that the production is union. Since ACTRA Members are not permitted to audition for non-union commercials, if you or your agent are unsure, please contact your ACTRA Branch directly to confirm if a production is being shot under a union contract.
3. Can I work on non-union commercials?
No. ACTRA performers can only work on commercials being made under the terms and conditions of the NCA.
4. How can the ACA bind agencies to the NCA?
The ACA has not bound agencies to the NCA. Each agency made its own determination to partner with ACTRA to become a signatory to the NCA. Each successive renewal of the NCA binds existing signatories to the terms of the agreement. Advertisers want the same stability as performers – and need the quality performances only ACTRA performers can provide. Advertisers also pay the bills, and they know ACTRA performers make commercials that deliver results.
5. What happens if a signatory engager wants to make both non-union commercials and ones through the NCA?
A signatory that makes non-union commercials will be declared an Unfair Engager. ACTRA members cannot work for Unfair Engagers.

About the complaint filed against the ICA and ICA agencies

1. What does it mean when ACTRA says it is seeking damages in the form of wages, benefits, and retirement contributions lost as a result of an Engager unlawfully making non-union commercials? Would members receive this compensation?
ACTRA is seeking damages on behalf of our members for loss of compensation and benefits (including wages, and health and retirement benefit contributions) resulting from an Engager that has terminated a contract with an ACTRA Member to shoot non-union. Any remuneration resulting from this complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board would be paid to members.