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IATSE Adopts New Equity Statement; Will Conduct “Census” Next Year To Measure Diversity Among Its 150,000 Members

·3-min read

IATSE has adopted a new Equity Statement and will be conducting and publicizing an annual “census” report to measure diversity within the ranks of its 150,000 members.

“Diverse organization cannot be established unless current systems of access are enhanced,” the Equity Statement says. “We must build structures to create equitable access for all, and to truly celebrate diversity. This growth will ensure a stronger union, and together, we will rise!”

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The statement, which was adopted earlier this month by the union’s general executive board, goes on to say that IATSE “acknowledges that while we all face barriers to our success, there are those among us who face barriers that are more substantial and entrenched than others. We call upon all to identify, minimize, or erase obstacles that are within our control to make a more equitable pathway to unionism, leadership, and equality.”

The union, which had approved equity statements in 2015 and 2018, said, “We recognize that, while equality aims to treat everyone equally, it does not consider the various impediments faced by some of our members resulting in unequal outcomes.”

To gauge the success of its diversity efforts, the union said that its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will “establish a process for conducting and publicizing an annual ‘census’ report measuring aggregated demographic data” in the spring of 2022.

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“IATSE is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination,” the union said. “We are opposed to unlawful and unfair discrimination and oppression on the grounds of sex, gender identity and expression, relationship or marital status, race or ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, language, background, political or religious beliefs, physical appearance, pregnancy or responsibility for dependents.

“Equal rights are the cornerstone of the labor movement. Unions were founded on the principle that all people are equal and all people are deserving of respect and fair treatment. Equality issues run through all areas of trade union activities – from health and safety to wage negotiations,” it added.

IATSE’s latest push for equity came last week at the union’s 69th Quadrennial Convention, where delegates overwhelmingly approved what newly re-elected president Matt Loeb said were “the most progressive set of constitutional changes and resolutions in our union’s history.”

In addition to the diversity census, the delegates also approved resolutions to:

  • Advocate for and support federal legislation to protect the right to organize, expand collective bargaining rights, including but not limited to the PRO Act.

  • Support elected officials who seek to ensure access to voting and fair elections in the US, while also working with organizations that help folks navigate the voting process and overcome voter suppression schemes.

  • Fight for the inclusion of Paid Family Medical Leave in CBA’s, and support of similar family friendly legislation at the local, state, and Federal levels.

  • Review health plans and work to include robust coverage for gender-affirming medical treatment for Queer and Trans members.

  • Review health plans to ensure that PEP and PrEP (HIV prevention) are offered and covered.

  • Explore anti-bias and anti-racist trainings, as well as recommending the IATSE General Executive Board, Officers, and Delegates attend trans inclusivity training.

  • Continue exploring development of mentorship programs and partnerships supporting organizations that encourage inclusion in entertainment careers.

  • Revise and updated constitution and bylaws language to be more modern, specific, and inclusive.

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