Apprentice Permit Fees

Prior to the implementation of the new IPA in January 2002, a permit fee of $12.50 was deducted from Apprentice cheques. We were informed that this was an "Equalization Payment" to ensure that it cost no more to employ an Apprentice than a full member.

From January this year, all of a sudden, Apprentices no longer pay the $12.50 permit fee. This is currently paid by Production so wouldn't that make Apprentices more expensive to hire? How does the "Equalization" work now?

There is a lot more to this change than meets the eye, so don't be surprised if payment of the fee returns. The following is an excerpt from an article that is relevant.

"There is an ongoing dispute regarding the proper interpretation of the provisions of the IPA that cover Work Permits for Background Performers.

ACTRA has been writing letters to production and payroll companies outlining that it would be strictly enforcing Article C502 of the IPA and that it would no longer accept production deducting work permit fees for ACTRA Apprentice Members and non-members engaged as Background Performers. The CFTPA disagrees with ACTRA's interpretation of Article C502 as it is in conflict with Article C303 as well as Appendix 17 of the IPA. Accordingly, CFTPA members should continue with their current practice in this regard. ACTRA has yet to file a formal grievance with respect to this issue."

To save your having to look up the relevant sections of the IPA they are as follows:

Article C502:
The Producer will pay any required permit fee for all Permittees hired up to the required limits set in Articles C501. There will be no permit fee required for the additional Background Performers, and they will be paid at a rate to be negotiated between the Producer and such Background Performers.

This seems to indicate, quite clearly, that under the terms of the IPA Producers are agreeing to pay our permit fees.... or does it???

Article C303:
Permitees shall be permitted to work with ACTRA members upon the payment of a work permit fee to ACTRA of $7.50 (or $12.50 for Production locations within 120 km of ACTRA office in Toronto) per Permittee for each day such person is engaged.

To our way of thinking, if we, as Apprentices are "ACTRA members" then under Article C303 we should not be paying a permit fee, and ACTRA's decision to put the burden back onto Production should be supported.

If, on the other hand, we DO have to pay the $12.50 permit fee, then this would be yet another example of our being designated as "non members" because it suits the system.

I think that most Apprentices would be happy to start paying the $12.50 permit fee again if it meant more regular work.

90% of something is better than 100% of nothing!

PROGRESS REPORT posted July 17th 2003

If the Apprentice Class is eliminated, which is quite probable, then the issue of a permit fee will no longer apply. At the moment we, as Apprentices, do not pay that fee, and I do not think that if we did pay that fee, we would necessarily be getting any more work than we are right now.

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