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Your cheque may not be in the mail

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post have made little progress in their stalled contract negotiations and CUPW could commence strike action as early as midnight on Monday, October 22, 2018.

As a result of the uncertainty, productions have been advised to make alternate arrangements for the delivery of performer cheques until the situation becomes clearer. Commercial cheques will be held for pick-up at your ACTRA branch office.

IPA/Video Games
If you are expecting a cheque from an IPA or Video Game production, check with the production to see what alternate arrangements they may have made for pick-up/delivery.

Commercial Cheques
As per the NCA, Section 26 Remittance of Payments, session payments are due 15 business days from date of production and Use payments are due 20 working days from first air date. Please call your ACTRA branch office to find out if your cheque is there before going to the office pick it up.

We will update you when we have more information.

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Treasurer’s Report for the Fiscal Year Ended February 28, 2018

A brief overview of the financial statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018

Your union has been very active this past fiscal year (2017-2018) – negotiating improvements in the National Commercial Agreement; leading the industry’s reaction to the Weinstein sexual harassment revelations; advocating for increased work opportunities for Canadian performers at the CRTC, on Parliament Hill, and in international trade negotiations; and improving our information systems to better serve the ACTRA membership and the industry.

Revenue:
Fiscal 2017/18 Revenue of $6 million increased by $103,300 or 1.8% from the prior year. Equalization Revenue increased by $51,800 or 3.4%.  Full Member per capita payments increased by $26,800 from the prior fiscal year due to an increase in Full Member count of 0.8%. Apprentice Member per capita payments increased by $22,800 from the prior fiscal year reflecting an increase in Apprentice Member count of 6%. Consistent with Canadian accounting principles the investments held for trading were adjusted to their market value at year end.

Expenses:
Total Fiscal 2017/18 expenses of $5.8 million increased by $230,000 or 4.1% from the prior year.

 In Fiscal 2017/18 Collective Agreement Negotiation and Administration costs were $157,200 higher than the prior year. The NCA was negotiated in Fiscal 2017/18.

ACTRA participated at the Canadian Labour Congress Convention held in Toronto in May 2017. Related expenses in Fiscal 2017/18 were $58,200.

Fiscal 2017/18 Salaries are higher than last year by $85,100 or 2.5% due to contractual increases.

Public Policy & Communication expenses are $21,900 or 7.3% higher than last year. This is mostly due to expenses incurred to review the impact of NAFTA renegotiation on ACTRA’s members and the industry. In addition, ACTRA Magazine costs were higher than the previous year due to a larger publication to celebrate ACTRA’s 75th Anniversary.

Research & Bargaining expenses are $13,300 or 38.7% higher than last year. In FY 2017/18 ACTRA began a review of its policies and procedures related to bullying and harassment, which contributed to Research costs being higher than the prior year.

Information Services department expenses decreased by $35,400 or 12.2% from the prior year mostly due to lower director expenses and no external consulting expenses.

The Apprentice Member credit in FY 2017/18 was $17,900 or 30% lower than the prior year; both the number of Apprentice members becoming Full Members and the Credit decreased, by 4.5% and 22% respectively.

Transfer payment to the Branches decreased by $16,500 or 49.9% in FY 17/18 from the prior year.

All other Fiscal 2017/18 expenses account for a decrease of $35,900 from the prior year.

Final results:
ACTRA National’s Fiscal 2017/18 Operating Surplus is $157,700. Consistent with the surplus policy established in October 2007, operating surplus in excess of $2 million will be distributed to the Branches and $157,700 will be distributed in this fiscal year. Consistent with Canadian accounting rules, the transfer to the Branches is recorded on the balance sheet.

ACTRA Branch Support: Harassment

ACTRA takes all reports of harassment seriously. If you need assistance or would like to report an incident, please click on the link below for your branch where you will find further support and information.

ACTRA Alberta
ACTRA Manitoba
ACTRA Maritimes
ACTRA Montreal
ACTRA Newfoundland/Labrador
ACTRA Ottawa
ACTRA Saskatchewan
ACTRA Toronto
UBCP/ACTRA

Let’s Celebrate #actra75

*Posts to Instagram are eligible too in addition to Twitter

Celebrate, support and promote your industry to the world in honour of ACTRA’s 75th anniversary!

How to enter:

Snap a photo and share on Twitter and/or Instagram along with a caption that includes the hashtag #actra75 and completes one of these statements:

  1. Being an #ACTRA member means _____
  2. Being an #ACTRA member has meant ____ in my career as a professional performer
  3. When I first got my #ACTRA membership card, I ____
  4. #ACTRA has done ____ to help/protect Canadian culture
  5. #ACTRA performers are an important part of Canada’s cultural fabric because ___

Example

#ACTRA performers are an important part of Canada’s cultural fabric because we help tell stories by Canadians to Canadians and the world #actra75

You must include the hashtag #actra75 to be eligible to enter the contest (and you must craft your own message – you can’t use the example provided above).

One tweet equals one entry for a chance to win one of many ACTRA swag prizes. Enter as many times as you want!

Contest rules:

  1. The contest officially runs from April 1 to December 31, 2018.
  2. A minimum of one (1) prize package will be given out each month for posts done that month up until and including the month of December 2018
  3. The draw will be made within five (5) business days after the end of the given month for which the contest will take place
  4. The eligible month for the contest draw starts on the first day of the month and ends on the last day of the month (i.e. the draw for all social media posts for the month of May will be begin on May 1 and end on May 31. The draw will take place within five (5) business days from the last day of May)
  5. You must have an Active ACTRA membership status to be eligible to enter (i.e. your ACTRA membership status cannot be suspended or withdrawn)
  6. ACTRA members may enter as many times per month as wanted so long as they follow the contest rules and provide a new tweet and image for each entry (i.e. you can’t keep tweeting the same message and image multiple times within the same month)
  7. The winner will be selected randomly from the pool of all eligible entries within the given month
  8. The prize package includes: ACTRA-branded hat, ACTRA-branded T-shirt, ACTRA-branded water bottle and swag item from a Canadian TV show.
  9. The winner will be contacted by email (by the email address on file in AMS) to be advised they are the winner. The winner has three (3) business days to accept the prize by replying to the email from ACTRA National otherwise the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be selected. Upon accepting the prize, if the winner is unable to pick up the prize package from the ACTRA National office (625 Church Street, 3rd floor, Toronto, Ontario), the package will be sent by mail to the winner (to the mailing address on file in AMS). ACTRA National will determine the name of the winner based on their social media account so please ensure your name is included in your profile if it is not part of your social media handle (i.e. your name is Mary Smith but your Twitter handle is @Cdnactor).

Women’s March 2018

On January 21, 2017, people of all backgrounds–women and men and gender nonconforming people, young and old, of diverse faiths, differently abled, immigrants and indigenous–came together, 5 million strong, on all seven continents of the world.

On January 20, 2018, we march again.

Women’s March Canada recognizes there is no true peace, freedom, or inclusion without equity for all. Events across the country on January 20th will feature music, art, community booths, and speakers in a shared voice of resistance with advocacy aligned with the national Women’s March Unity Principles: ending violence, protection of reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, Indigenous people’s rights and environmental justice. We look forward to sharing this experience with you and engaging our many communities even further.

ACTRA Branch groups

All times local.

ACTRA Maritimes
Halifax (12noon to 2pm)
Meet at Grand Parade Square in front of Halifax City Hall – look for the ACTRA banner that will be proudly visible.

UBCP/ACTRA
Vancouver (10am)
Please meet at 9:45am at the Olympic Cauldron at the Jack Poole Plaza – look for the yellow and red UBCP/ACTRA flags.

If you would like to attend a march but will not be in one of the cities listed above where an ACTRA branch is participating as a group, please click here for a list of others cities across Canada with marches.

Call for submissions

ACTRA harassment policy review

ACTRA is seeking a qualified individual or firm to work with us to improve our current harassment policies, reporting tools, training, resources, and further support ACTRA’s work with industry stakeholders on harassment and institutional change in our industry. The scope of the review will include work on the following items:

  • Existing training/expertise of staff for handling reports of sexual harassment;
  • Existing training for members and industry stakeholders;
  • ACTRA’s member discipline process;
  • ACTRA’s procedures for taking reports of incidents of harassment, discrimination, bullying or violence;
  • ACTRA’s constitution and bylaws, where they pertain to harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence;
  • Language pertaining to harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence in ACTRA collective agreements.

The expected work includes, review, recommendations and proposed new procedures and policies. The successful bidder will have the following qualifications:

  • Expert knowledge and experience in harassment policy, training and complaints;
  • An established track record of assisting leading organizations in shaping harassment policies and practices;
  • The ability to interview a diverse population of participating members to gather firsthand accounts with respect to their experiences in the industry;
  • The ability to ensure this work is carried out across Canada;
  • A detailed understanding of harassment legislation; and
  • Experience dealing with collective agreements and/or in unionised, multi-stakeholder work environment.

The proposal should include briefly, a statement of work, timelines, fees and other resources necessary to carry out such a review.

The following are assets, but not requirements for the successful submission:

  • Experience in, or firsthand knowledge of, the film & television industry, labour organizations or the labour movement;
  • Proven ability dealing with harassment issues in high-profile organizations or cases and/or the ability to communicate publicly on complex or controversial issues;
  • General legal expertise; and
  • Firsthand experience with programs and policies dealing with gender violence prevention.

ACTRA will accept submissions until Monday, January 22nd, 2018.

Submissions may be sent electronically or by mail to:

r.b@actra.ca

Research and Bargaining Department
ACTRA National
625 Church St.
Suite 300
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G1

ACTRA is an equal opportunity employer that proactively seeks candidates with diverse backgrounds.

 

President’s Message – November 2017

Update on the industry-wide effort to combat sexual harassment and assault in the media industry

Dear Members,

Disturbing allegations about producer Harvey Weinstein and many others in the media sector have been dominating the news cycle and social media platforms over the past two months. They have highlighted the need for real change in our industry – and our society as a whole.

Your union has been meeting with members across the country, listening to and learning from their experiences, reviewing our practices and identifying options for change. We recognize sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, and violence have been a reality in our industry. This must change. It is incumbent on all of us to combat it, to create a safe space for victims to speak out without fear of retaliation or harassment and to ensure there are real consequences for perpetrators.

We are committed to ensuring our workplace is safe and respectful for our members and industry partners, and we know there’s much more to do. As part of that effort, we convened a meeting of seventeen stakeholder organizations from across the creative industries to discuss positive steps that will affect real and lasting change.

It became clear that every organization has been confronting similar challenges, meeting with members and working to find solutions. Our industry is galvanized and ready to do what it takes to ensure zero tolerance for sexual harassment, assault and abuse.

Following the November 23 round table, we, as an industry, released a joint statement (which can be read in full here) announcing the first steps we are committed to executing. They include:

Enacting an industry-wide code of conduct, clearly defining expectations of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, enforcement and consequences.
Creating more effective reporting mechanisms and supports, which ensure all individuals can report allegations without fear of judgement or retribution.
Ensuring more effective enforcement of existing industry policies.
Launching a multi-level education and training program, including an industry-wide awareness campaign designed to establish and strengthen a culture of safe workplaces.

We realize there is still much work to do, and we’re committed to doing it. We are already working on these goals, but getting the process right and ensuring it is effective is just as important as doing it quickly. This is just the first of many updates to come to you about our joint steps as an industry to end sexual harassment, assault and abuse in our workplace.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

President’s Message – September 2017

September 29, 2017

Unpacking the Heritage Minister’s speech: A Vision for Canada’s Creative Industries

Hello ACTRA members,

On Thursday, September 28th, I had the opportunity to represent ACTRA members in Ottawa as the Liberal government laid out its policy framework for Canada’s Creative industries in a speech delivered to the Economic Club of Canada by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

There is much to be thankful for:

  • The decision to support the Canada Media Fund (CMF) is a step forward in addressing the fund’s declining revenues, and will help ensure the continued creation and diversity of Canadian content programming.
  • The decision to support emerging writers through the CMF is an important move that will help develop strong Canadian voices and productions.
  • Creating an export fund to explore distribution options to help increase the availability and discoverability of Canadian productions in our own country and around the world is long overdue and will be helpful to our industry.

We have a government that is listening to the creative sector and recognizes the value arts & culture bring to the Canadian economy and to the Canadian soul. (Film & TV alone accounts for over $7B of production and creates over 140K full-time equivalent jobs each year.)

Committing to continued dialogue with artists and the industry is especially important as 2018 will bring reviews of the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts along with a fresh mandate for the new CRTC chair and the renegotiation of NAFTA. These are all files on which our industry will either wane or flourish.

Well done! However, the devil will always be found in the details.

While this new framework seems generally positive, it still leaves a number of unanswered questions. Will there be a cap on investment in the CMF? Will this investment rise with inflation? Will the CBC’s new mandate ensure it continues to invest in new creative production? Are regulations for our independent producers and Canadian broadcasters to be applied to Over-the-top broadcasters like Netflix? On that last question, it seems the answer is “no.”

Negotiating investment into CanCon production from large foreign players is always welcome. A $500M investment in CanCon from Netflix over five years is an impressive number and may see some positive results. (Our Foreign Service partners bring many billions of dollars in production to our Canadian industry every year. We celebrate it, and when this production meets our CanCon requirements we celebrate its success even more.)

However, in this announcement, Netflix – a multi-billion-dollar, foreign multi-national company – is being allowed to write/negotiate its own rules. Unlike traditional broadcasters, Netflix and other Internet broadcasters will continue to be completely unregulated. They will not be making contributions to the Canada Media Fund. This also raises another concerning question: Will Netflix be required to invest in uniquely Canadian programming or hire Canadians in key creative roles? It seems this Netflix deal only confirms that while we must abide by the rules and regulations for our own industry, the biggest players get to make up their own.

Netflix is not stupid. It will produce here because it is profitable, and because it can rely on our exceptional professionals in front of, behind and after the camera. However, if the math changes, Netflix may stop investing in production while continuing to sell subscriptions in Canada.

As Canadians, we have always charged a levy for access to our Canadian homes, audiences and marketplace. We did this for content delivered over-the-air, on cable, via satellite and then… the CRTC of the 1990s didn’t understand the Internet… so, no regulation. But we know the Internet is simply just another pipeline. The content is what people tune-in to watch. Content costs money to make, and Canadian content projects Canada to the world and supports every other type of business we do. Last year, over $730M left Canada in the form of Netflix subscription fees. The company paid no HST, no corporate tax and nothing into the CMF. Is this fair?

The time has come for a level playing field that regulates all those profiting from access to Canadians, including OTTs, to invest in the creation of our excellent Canadian content.

The 2018 reviews of the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts, and the new CRTC mandate and the renegotiation of NAFTA will each challenge our industry’s ability to remain relevant and competitive in a global marketplace. We must remain vigilant and ensure Canada, as a sovereign nation, sets its own cultural agenda.

We are exceptionally talented! We have built a remarkable industry. ACTRA is a big part of this success. Great Canadian shows like Murdoch, Private Eyes, Mohawk Girls, Rookie Blue, Orphan Black, Little Mosque, Motive, Heartland, 19-2, Republic of Doyle, Corner Gas and so many others are seen in hundreds of countries and territories around the world. Some are even seen in primetime on American carriers. We make great, world-class content! Let’s make sure this trend continues and grows.

We welcome these positive steps laid out by our government, however, we will have to watch these files closely and pay attention to the details. Thanks for your ACTRAvism!

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

Click here to read the minister’s speech and the government’s Creative Canada policy framework. To read ACTRA’s DigiCanCon submission, click here.

President’s Message – July 2017

July 13, 2017

Hello ACTRA members,

I wanted to provide you with a quick update on negotiations for the National Commercial Agreement.

As you’ve likely heard, the Engagers – representing commercial agencies and advertisers – walked away from the table on June 28. Tomorrow, we’re heading back into further talks. This time with the help of a professional mediator.

Your bargaining team believes we can find a deal, but we need the Engagers to meet us halfway and show ACTRA members – ACTRA members who make their industry work – the respect that we deserve.

We’re looking for some basic things:

  • proper compensation for all ACTRA performers – especially in Digital Media, which is becoming a greater and greater part of the commercial industry;
  • simplifying and modernizing the agreement to capture the work that is not currently going to ACTRA performers; and
  • improving Health and Safety.

What we don’t want to see, and can’t accept, are proposals that take us backward:

  • reducing session fees for certain performers;
  • eliminating residuals for other performers; and
  • making it easier to replace ACTRA performers with non-union performers or “real” people.

Our incredible bargaining team has been working long and hard and is ready to reach a deal.

We hope that, with the help of a mediator this week, we’ll get one.

Thanks to all ACTRA members for standing strong and staying united and offering their support.

Watch your email for more details.

Together we are stronger.

Thanks for your support.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

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