The Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) deplores ACTRA’s ongoing attempts to derail negotiations to create a new National Commercial Agreement (NCA) that are currently taking place. The ICA has been negotiating in good faith to create a modernized NCA to replace the outdated and unfair agreement that expired in April 2022. The ICA put forward proposals in February to create a new solution for the industry, but ACTRA has not yet provided a meaningful response. In the place of constructive dialogue, ACTRA has escalated a pressure campaign designed to reimpose the old terms in the expired NCA in contradiction of ACTRA’s own pledge one year ago to create a modernized NCA by May 2023.
The previous NCA was not renewed by the ICA because ACTRA allowed non-signatory agencies better and more flexible terms of access to non-union as well as union talent to the competitive detriment of ACTRA’s signatory agencies and performing talent. ICA agencies have deep respect for unionized performers, but ACTRA has refused to permit union talent to work with ICA agencies since the NCA expired, which has created lost opportunities for their own members.
ACTRA claims to be advocating for its members but its attacks on Cossette for work done with the Federal Government are a clear example of the misinformation ACTRA promotes. All Cossette work for the Federal Government is done in Québec, uses only ACTRA and UDA members and fully complies with binding agreements with ACTRA and the UDA in accordance with Québec Status of The Artist legislation. This is in accordance with the 2022 agreement between ACTRA, the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Association of Creative Communications Agencies (A2C). Cossette is a member of A2C in Quebec. In short, Cossette’s Federal Government work is exclusively produced in Québec with ACTRA and UDA members. At a time when talented performers are losing work because they are forbidden by ACTRA from working with ICA agencies, it makes no sense that ACTRA now feels it needs to take the additional step of threatening work being performed by its own union members.
ICA agencies value, respect and want to work with union talent. ACTRA performers are not locked out of work by ICA agencies as ACTRA falsely claims, they are in fact being locked down by their union. The ICA is in active negotiations with ACTRA and ACA to get a new NCA for agencies and performers alike. It’s time for ACTRA to step up on behalf of its members and engage in the real work to define a new and fair agreement and stop trying to bully everyone back into a bad deal.
For more background on this issue, please click here https://theica.ca/actra.ubcp.uda
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