Nickelodeon Animation Workers Ratify Guild Contract by 89% for Wage Increases, Staffing Minimums

Nickelodeon Animation Workers and the Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839) reached a contract agreement on Tuesday, with an overwhelming 89% of those who voted agreeing to a series of wage increases, staffing minimum requirements and more.

The new contract between animation staffers at Nickelodeon Studios and the Animation Guild combines 2D, 3D and production workers into one comprehensive contract.

“This contract is the direct result of not only a strong public showing of solidarity among our members, but also demonstrates the power of what multiple crafts working together can do,” negotiations committee member Candice Stephenson said in a statement announcing the news.

“It’s hard to encapsulate how much effort member-volunteers of the committee put into researching, communicating, informing, organizing, energizing, huddling, retooling, negotiating, arguing, fighting for better terms,” added committee member Kyle Neswald.

Benefits gained from the contract, which the negotiating committee’s announcement touted as a “milestone” agreement, include enhanced bereavement leave of up to three days, minimum staffing requirements of at least two staff writers in addition to supervisory roles, 15% in increased compensation for storyboard artists who also take on writing duties, “significant” wage increases for production workers and a 15% increase in minimum compensation for CG supervisors.

“The work of the Nickelodeon Animation Studios negotiation committee mirrored the cohesive solidarity of the negotiations committee that bargained the 2021-2024 master agreement,” Steve Kaplan, business representative for The Animation Guild, said. “We were able to get the company to voluntarily recognize animation production before negotiations and include production workers for the first time. The committee stood strong on all of our priority issues and helped deliver a groundbreaking agreement.”

Of the increased wages reached in the new contract, a negotiations committee member and production coordinator said that they “are securing a raise for our lowest-paid members.”

The Animation Guild contract ratification came nearly six months after Nickelodeon Animation editors ratified a new contract with the Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) in September 2023 to include wage increases ranging from 9% to as much as 70% over the next year.

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