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Recommendations for screen sector workplace relations unveiled

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DEGNZ

Media release

17 October 2018

A recommended model to allow collective bargaining for contractors in the screen sector has today been unveiled by the Government-convened Film Industry Working Group.

The recommendations, which will now be considered by Government, offer a new path forward for the screen sector, following 2010 law changes to workplace relations in the industry.

“This has been an exercise in collaboration and compromise, and we believe it sets the screen sector on a much stronger footing going forward,” says Group Facilitator Linda Clark.

“The screen industry is unlike any other. The nature of filming means producers require certainty of cost and flexibility of conditions in order to complete a production on time and on budget. Project durations are often fixed, and one worker can be involved in multiple productions during a year.

“The working group is proposing a model that reflects the sector’s uniqueness. It retains parts of the current law, but also allows contractors to bargain collectively and it establishes principles that promote strong, productive relationships. To keep up with current trends, it also applies more appropriately to the overall screen sector, rather than film productions alone.”

The recommendations include:

  • keeping the part of the current law that says film workers are only employees if they have a written employment agreement. This provides the certainty of cost and flexibility of conditions needed in the screen industry.
  • allowing contractors to bargain collectively at an occupation level within the screen industry, such as amongst actors or technicians. The process will be supported by principles, set requirements, and a dispute resolution system. Any resulting collective contracts should apply to all contract work in that occupation.
  • establishing principles that govern relationships in the screen industry, including good faith, protection from bullying, discrimination and harassment, reasonable termination of contracts, and fair rates of pay.
  • applying the model to all screen production work, including film and television, to accurately reflect the industry in New Zealand. The screen sector is increasingly fluid for workers and producers, due to changes in technology and viewing habits. Many workers frequently move between the two, and projects increasingly do not fall neatly into either the ‘film’ or ‘television’ productions.

Ms Clark says the recommendations have the full support of all members of the working group.

“As a sector, the group’s members are committed to a vibrant, strong and world-leading screen industry. All of the members valued the opportunity to work together constructively to develop a model that works for the sector.

“We look forward to the Government’s response.”

The working group’s full recommendations are available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website at https://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/employment-skills/legislation-reviews/film-industry-working-group

The Film Industry Working Group was convened by the Government earlier this year. Its members are:

  • Alex Lee, Film Auckland
  • Alice Shearman, New Zealand Writers Guild
  • Augie Davis, Stunt Guild of New Zealand
  • Barrie Osborne, film producer
  • Brendan Keys, Weta Digital
  • Erina Tamepo, Ngā Aho Whakaari
  • Melissa Ansell-Bridges, Equity New Zealand
  • Michael Brook, Regional Film Offices New Zealand
  • Paul Mackay, BusinessNZ
  • Richard Fletcher, Screen Production and Development Association
  • Richard Wagstaff, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
  • Sioux Macdonald, Screen Industry Guild
  • Tui Ruwhiu, Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand

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For further information, contact:

Linda Clark
Facilitator, Film Industry Working Group
linda.clark@kensingtonswan.com
027 490 7942

Melissa Ansell-Bridges
Director, Equity New Zealand
melissa.ansell-bridges@actorsequity.org.nz
027 360 1980

Richard Fletcher
Co-President, Screen Production and Development Association
richard@libertinepictures.com
021 655 339

Young Creators: Before You Say Yes to Web Series

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Before You Say Yes to Web Series

Get more control over your career by knowing the pitfalls to avoid before you set out on your web series dreams.

Be informed about issues currently facing web content creators in NZ. Lately, we’ve seen some appalling agreements given to our director members to sign.

In response, DEGNZ has been busy on a standard contract for scripted content on the Web for Directors that will be launched at Before You Say Yes to Web Series.

You have the right to be compensated fairly for your creativity, ideas and hard work. This contract will help!

If the mention of “contract” makes you want to curl up into the foetal position, no fear, we’re bringing Tim Riley in from Dominion Law to break down that jargon. Without boring you to death.

DEGNZ supports your right to work for free, too. But if you do get the opportunity to make scripted online content and be paid, we’d like you to know what we believe is fair for your creative contribution. And when there isn’t enough hard cash involved, what you should ask for to make up the difference.

Be sure to bring your mates and get in the mix!

 

When: Saturday 28 October, 10am – 12pm

Entry: DEGNZ members – Free / Non-members – $5 koha

Where: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Main entrance & carpark behind the Centre.

 

Before You Say Yes to Web Series is the first event and official launch of Young Creators, a brand new initiative from the Directors & Editors Guild of NZ.

DEGNZ Young Creators is a programme of events with a mission to inform and inspire younger or emerging directors and editors to build successful, sustainable careers in the screen industry.

 

Share the Facebook event here!

Stay up to date with Young Creators at facebook.com/degnz and twitter.com/degnz_online!