For the first time in 15 years, an agreement was signed to regulate the working conditions of the film and television production staff. The agreement was signed last month by representatives of the Israeli Association of Cinema and Television Professionals (ACT) and representatives of the Israeli Producers Union. The agreement will provide workers with a shortened working day, a defined minimum rest period between shooting days, the potential for half-day employment, regulated working conditions on the set, and more.
The agreement was signed after about ten months of intense negotiations and after years of unrest in the industry and conflicts between the organizations. It will come into effect this October and will be valid for the next two years.
The Association of Television and Film Producers in Israel represents the production companies and producers in the film and television industry. ACT represents about 1,000 crew members from a variety of technical and artistic professions working on set.
Producers Union Chair Ader Shafran welcomed the new agreement. "I want to thank the new management of ACT and the dedicated management of the Producers Union for their willingness and patience to reach an agreement that will calm the industry,” he said in a statement. “The new agreement will allow certainty after very fraught years and will restore a positive atmosphere to the film set. This agreement will allow both bodies to work together towards greater goals."
ACT Chair Galy Reshef shared Shafran’s optimistic view. "The agreement is significant news for workers and the industry as a whole,” he said. “It was made possible thanks to the persistent and long-standing efforts of the engaged companies and union members to improve working conditions. Thanks to the flexibility and leadership of the management of the two unions, we have seen success. The industry needs healthy labor relations and work that’s more sane and fair, so that, among other things, we can concentrate efforts in the fight for the future of the entire industry.”
The agreement between the two organizations has come about against the backdrop of a legal memorandum promoted by Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi that threatens to harm the Israeli film industry. Both organizations expressed their strong opposition to the government legislation and announced that they are organizing together with all the Israeli unions in the creative industries for the struggle to maintain their place in society.
These creative workers unions serve as centers of support and stability for thousands of families engaged in the industry while striving to maintain the high-quality Israeli art and media that is in demand both in Israel and around the world. Just this week, ACT presented a position paper to the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry Justice in which it expressed concern about the vulnerability of workers' conditions and investment in local creativity.
This article was translated from Hebrew by Etz Greenfeld.