CFTPA/APFTQ Urge ACTRA To Return to the Bargaining Table
A week after negotiations with ACTRA stalled, the CFTPA and the APFTQ are urging ACTRA to return to the bargaining table in order to continue discussions.
ACTRA has has asked the Associations to withdraw their proposals without any substantive discussion.
ACTRA filed a conciliation notice in the province of Ontario which forces the appointment of a government mediator. ACTRA has also indicated that they
intend to file conciliation notices in all other provinces covered by the IPA, which is the legal step required before going on strike.
"Considering the legal context in Quebec where the Status of the Artist Act applies, and considering ACTRA's refusal to negotiate without a mediator,
the APFTQ has had no choice but to ask the Commission de reconnaissance des associations d'artistes et des associations de producteurs to appoint a mediator for our province" explained Julie Patry, Attorney, Director, Industrial Relations, APFTQ.
ACTRA's actions are highly unusual and could force the ACTRA Independent Production Agreement (IPA) - a collective agreement which covers Performers in
all provinces outside of British Columbia - to be negotiated on a province-by-province basis. Although there could be some advantage to provincial bargaining for Producers, it is not the first choice of the Associations and can only be viewed as a divisive strategy that will create major production uncertainty across the country.
"Conciliation is a step that is only undertaken once reasonable efforts have been made by both parties to negotiate towards an agreement. At this point in time, we've not had a chance to start bargaining. ACTRA's insistence that we withdraw our proposals could be considered bad faith bargaining" said
John Barrack, chief negotiator for the CFTPA, who added "if ACTRA maintains its demand that the Producers' Associations withdraw their proposals without engaging in a discussion, conciliation will be meaningless regardless of where it takes place".
The CFTPA and APFTQ are also concerned that ACTRA's rejection of the Associations' Safe Harbour agreement which will damage domestic producers and
discourage foreign productions from coming to Canada.
The Producers' Associations are committed to labour stability and will continue to encourage ACTRA to return to the bargaining table. However, the
Associations emphasize that ACTRA also has to be willing to view its own proposals in the context of a production environment that has changed
dramatically over the last few years.
"Increasing global competition along with changes in audience viewing habits are forcing everybody to re-examine how we do business and this has to
involve the guilds and unions who are our partners" said Guy Mayson, President & CEO, CFTPA.
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