Get Real On Rates


“Rates have not changed for 20 years, yet the cost of living keeps going up. What was once a viable industry for families to survive in, has now become nearly impossible to sustain a career.”  

Andrew Conder, Director of photography

On October 26, screen crew around Australia will stand together on and off set in a National Day of Action to throw their support behind the Get Real on Rates Campaign.

The campaign aims to win recognition of the real rates that crew are paid on Australian film and TV drama productions, include these market rates in an enforceable MPPA industry agreement with producers and win annual cost of living increases to stop the stagnation of crew rates.

We all need to play our part, so make sure you are involved in the National Day of Action on October 26.

Want to be a part of it?

To take part, wear your union t-shirt or a black t-shirt and a Get Real on Rates sticker.

Post a selfie on social media with the hashtags #getrealonrates #nationaldayofaction.

Crew meetings will be held on:

Cleverman, Janet King, Dr Blake, Wentworth, The Warriors, Thor, Maelstrom, Family Law and Flammable Children.

Meeting will also be held at:

South Australia: Grace Emily Hotel, 232 Waymouth Street, Adelaide at 6pm

Western Australia: The Vic hotel, Hay St Subiaco at 4pm

Your support on the day will go a long way in showing producers that we are serious about change. We are all in this industry together and we all want the same outcomes; a vibrant and sustainable Australian film and TV industry that respects the professionals who work so hard to make it a success.

Your local screen organisers are:

NSW: Gerard Brown – gerard.brown@meaa.org
SA: Aaron Connor – aaron.connor@meaa.org
VIC: Brendan Orders – brendan.orders@meaa.org
WA: Tiffany Venning – tiffany.venning@meaa.org
QLD: Michelle Rae – michelle.rae@meaa.org

Help spread the word

Download, print and share this poster for your workplace:

National Day of Action

Change your social media profile picture to show your support for the campaign:

national-day-of-action

On Wednesday, October 26, crew around Australia united to urge producers to Get Real On Rates. The National Day of Action will take place on and off set in support of the campaign to recognise crew rates.

Check out the photo gallery from the day:

National Day of Action
 

The Get Real on Rates campaign aims to:

•  Win recognition of the real rates that crew are paid on Australian film and TV drama productions;
•  Include these market rates in an enforceable MPPA industry agreement with producers;
•  Win annual cost of living increases to stop the stagnation of crew rates.

Want to be a part of it?

If you’re working on an Australian film or TV drama production, a MEAA organiser will visit your set to brief you on the National Day of Action.

If you’re working on an alternative production on the day, or not working, you can still take action. Contact your local screen organiser or MEAA Member Central to find out how.

Your support on the day will go a long way in showing producers that we are serious about change. We are all in this industry together and we all want the same outcomes; a vibrant and sustainable Australian film and TV industry that respects the professionals who work so hard to make it a success.

Your local screen organisers are:

NSW: Gerard Brown – gerard.brown@meaa.org
SA: Aaron Connor – aaron.connor@meaa.org
VIC: Brendan Orders – brendan.orders@meaa.org
WA: Tiffany Venning – tiffany.venning@meaa.org
QLD: Michelle Rae – michelle.rae@meaa.org


Screen Producers to respond to ‘Get Real on Rates’

September 6, 2016

Last week, MEAA members and officials met with Screen Producers Australia (SPA) representatives to discuss the need to break the stagnation of crew rates in film and television.

Crew were represented by members from around the country, including Andrew Conder (DP, QLD), Wendy de Waal (Hair and Makeup Designer, NSW), Joe Loh (Unit Manager, Vic), Dannielle Alexander (Costume Designer, NSW), and Robertto Karas (Gaffer, SA) who presented over 500 crew selfies to SPA.

Members spoke to SPA about how the industry they love is becoming financially unsustainable for many crew.

Crew stressed to SPA that rates have stagnated for decades and described the impact on themselves and their colleagues in the industry.

Many members have trained up new crew only to see them leave the industry after a few years because of the lack of reward for long hours and demanding conditions.

The erosion of wages has made it increasingly difficult to sustain freelancers through the periods of unemployment that are part and parcel of the industry, taking a toll on their mental health and putting pressure on families.

Members said that having real rates and cost-of-living increases recognised in the industry agreement (MPPA) will provide reassurance to crew that their livelihoods and profession are respected by the industry.

SPA outlined the challenges of getting productions financed due to changing markets, structural changes to the broadcasting industry, and the perennial problem of budgets falling short of creative ambition.

Members questioned producers about the budgeting process, and discussed the opportunity to factor in crew costs based on agreed minimum market rates.

MEAA also acknowledged that the overall prosperity and growth of the industry demands ongoing coordinated support from everyone who plays a part in it, but insisted that the issue of crew rates needs to be addressed as a matter of priority.

SPA committed to come back to MEAA in six weeks following consultation with its members.

 

Watch: Crew members give their report back from the meeting with SPA

Icon

Get Real on Rates selfies poster

10.47 MB 50 downloads
Published: September 9, 2016

Australia’s thriving screen industry is globally recognised for its excellence and employs thousands of professionals and businesses. The latest reports* estimate the Australian screen industry contributes $5.8 billion to the Australian economy and employs an estimated 46,600 people. These reports have also shown an increase in locally made film and TV production in Australia.

Australian screen crews have a well-earned reputation as among the best in the world, for the professionalism of their work and their flexibility to meet the demands of production. But our industry cannot continue to thrive unless we value the people in it.

For years, crew rates have stagnated, while cost of living has gone up. Crew struggle to sustain their rates on nearly every job and because of this, many highly skilled people have left the industry. MEAA members across the industry are tired of their rates stagnating and even eroding on major productions. Screen crew are ready to stand collectively and fight for better pay and a more sustainable industry.

How can we get real on rates?

Through the Get Real on Rates campaign, MEAA seeks to set an enforceable benchmark of market rates. MEAA will advocate for these market rates to be included in the industry standard agreement, the Motion Picture Production Agreement (MPPA), and for rates to be increased annually with cost of living. Market rates would apply to commercially-funded TV drama, comedy series and feature films.

How are rates set now?

Rates are currently negotiated between crew and individual employers on a case by case basis. The legal minimum falls far short of what professional crew need to be paid to be able to make a living as freelance technicians. This leaves crew members having to negotiate pay multiple times a year, each time balancing the need to earn a sustainable rate with the risk of being undercut and unemployed. This precarious position has resulted in rates stagnating for long periods.

What we hope to change

The MEAA market rates will be the minimum standard that is paid in the market for a commercially-funded TV drama, comedy series or feature. We have broadly consulted with key industry members including department heads and supervisors, MEAA members, and crew. The MEAA market rates are the product of these extensive consultations.

How is your work valued?

When market rates are locked in as a new enforceable floor, crew will still be able to negotiate upwards as they do now, but the new minimum rate would reflect the real standard that crew need to be paid to make a living as freelancers.

How do we achieve this?

MEAA is lobbying producers to include market rates in the agreement. We need to show them that crew on every job across the country wants change. That means you need to get involved.

*  Economic contribution of the film and television industry in Australia. Australian Screen Association, February 2015.

Download the fact sheet:
Icon

Get Real on Rates factsheet

1.18 MB 192 downloads
Published: October 17, 2016

 

The draft market rates have been determined after extensive consultation with crew working in the screen industry Australia-wide.

The rates below represent the minimum benchmark calculated for each role by department. Our aim is to ensure that once these rates are included in the crew agreements, producers will not be able to charge below them, however an individual can negotiate upwards.

Check out the draft rates by clicking on your department below (these are the rates for Australian-produced MPPA film and TV work. To see the offshore feature film market rates, click here):

Accounts

accounts

Animal wrangler

artanimals

Art Department

artdept

Camera

camera

Casting

extrascasting

Construction

artconstruction

Continuity

continuity

Costume

costume

Director/Assistant Director

 

 ads-3

Electrics

LX

Grips

grips

Hair and Makeup

hairmakeup

Locations

locations

Post production

post

Production Office

production

Props

artprops

Safety/Nurse

safety

Set decoration

artsetdec

Special Effects

SFX

Sound

sound

Stunts

stunts

Transport

artvehicles

Unit

unit

Crew talk ahead of the National Day of Action on October 26:

 

 

MEAA members discuss their meeting with Screen Producers Australia:

 

 

Watch the Crew Speak video:

 

Big changes in this industry have only happened when a majority of crew stand together as union members. To win real rates we need a majority to be committed to the campaign as union members.

1. Take a campaign selfie

Download the Get Real On Rates sign and take a selfie. Then send it to comms@meaa.org. Get your colleagues involved too!

Icon

Get Real On Rates poster

242.81 KB 57 downloads
Published: April 29, 2016

Where will your selfie go?

Your photo along with those of hundreds of other screen crew will be presented to Screen Producers Australia (SPA) at the negotiating table to send a strong message that the industry is ready for a change. Your action will show SPA that we are serious about setting a better industry standard on market rates for crew, that we want them to be included in the MPPA, and that we want rates to rise with CPI year on year to keep our highly skilled crew in the industry, to create a thriving, safe and more sustainable industry.

2. Join your union

A union membership majority is key to winning real rates. Now is the time to join, stand together, and let producers know we are serious about changing the industry for the better. If you want to see changes, sign up to become a member of MEAA. Your membership:

  • Is a tax deduction
  • Includes free journey insurance (ie. cover for major injury on your journey to and from work)
  • Includes an option for public liability insurance for $3 per week ($20 million cover)
  • You can ring your crew organiser for advice and support on contracts or your rights at work
  • You have a role in in how the union is run through democratic structures
  • Cost is based on your annual income from the industry

Fees:

STAA fees

STAA fees with insurance

Click here to join

Already a member?
Share GetRealOnRates.org.au with a colleague.