ICA Fact Checks ACTRA Misinformation

ICA Fact Checks ACTRA Misinformation

ACTRA has had a lot to say about the ICA and its member agencies since our National Commercial Agreement (NCA) expired in April 2022. Much of the ACTRA rhetoric is simply not true. If you are wondering how to separate fact from fiction here are the issues from an ICA perspective.

FALSE: ACTRA says that the NCA is a collective agreement.

FACT: The ICA believes the NCA is a commercial contract that has expired. ACTRA has filed grievances and an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). The OLRB will begin Case Management on October 12, 2022. If the OLRB determines the NCA is a contract and not a collective agreement, ACTRA’s grievances will be found to be without merit. 

FALSE: ACTRA says that the ICA wants to “bust the union” with an opt-in/opt-out agreement.

FACT: ACTRA has promoted opt-in/opt-out privileges for non-signatory agencies since 2007 by allowing agencies, clients, and media companies to access the NCA through third party payroll companies. The ICA wants its signatory agencies to have the same fair and equal access to ACTRA performers granted to non-signatories. One set of rules for everyone where everyone wins.

FALSE: ACTRA says the ICA and its member agencies are engaged in an illegal lockout.

FACT: ACTRA refuses to let performers work with ICA agencies. We have been trying to renew commercials and pay performers, but ACTRA leadership is blocking these payments by refusing to accept the money and instructing performers to refuse to participate in renewals.

FACT: ACTRA is blocking ICA access to performers by instructing third-party payroll companies to refuse to accept payment or provide this service which is the path non-signatories take to talent.  ICA agencies have no alternative but to cast non-union to meet their client’s schedule. ACTRA has extended this ban beyond former signatories to include all ICA member agencies.

FALSE: ACTRA says the ICA does not care about gig working performers, their pay, and conditions.

FACT: The ICA and its member agencies respect and value ACTRA performers. During negotiations ACTRA rejected many performer-focused proposals by the ICA including an immediate 8% pay rise across the NCA, investments in DEI (including expertise in hair and make-up for BIPOC performers) and a $150,000 campaign to attract new members to ACTRA.

FALSE: ACTRA says that the ICA and its member agencies did not care about what performers had to endure during the heights of the pandemic.

FACT:  ICA members partnered with ACTRA to create safe working conditions during the pandemic.  ACTRA actively campaigned to keep commercial production included as an essential service.  The ICA worked with ACTRA, the production associations, Government, and health experts to ensure the best of protocols were in place to keep performers, production, and agencies at work.

FALSE: ACTRA says the ICA declined to come back to the table and work towards a modernized and simplified agreement during the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) meeting of July 12.

FACT:  ACTRA demanded preconditions to a return to the table, namely the removal of any discussion on providing fair and equal access to the agreement for all agencies.  We offered discussion without preconditions from either side, ACTRA refused leaving the OLRB’s Labour Relations Officer no option but to recommend that the parties proceed to Case Management.

For further information or advice, please contact Scott Knox, ICA President & CEO, for a distributable pdf of the statement please click here.

Please also read ICA Responds to ACTRA Statements of June 28.