A deal struck without a strike: Big news on the National Commercial Agreement

3 minute read
28 April 2022

For nearly a year, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) have been engaged in negotiations to reach a new National Commercial Agreement (NCA). ACTRA and the ACA have now announced that they have agreed to a one-year renewal and that the ICA will not be a co-administrator of the renewed agreement. ACTRA reports that as of Tuesday April 26, 2022, the ICA has deemed the NCA to have expired.

The NCA establishes the terms and conditions for ACTRA members engaged in English-language commercial productions in Canada both on and off camera. The NCA was originally set to expire in 2020, however, due to the impact of COVID-19, the terms and conditions were extended for a one-year period until June 30, 2021. As negotiations have been ongoing since April of 2021, the possibility of a strike or lockout became very real. At the end of March, ACTRA was considering a strike if an agreement was not reached as of April 26, 2022 at 12:01am.

However, rather than strike, ACTRA and the ACA announced what we understand to be effectively a one-year renewal of the 2017-2020 NCA (subject to a 2 per cent increase in all minimum fees and rates, and further changes that are yet to be reported). This "new" NCA will now be put to the ACA Board and ACTRA members for ratification. If ratified, the agreement will be effective beginning on June 1, 2022.

While this announcement provides welcomed stability for those who would have been impacted by the strikes and lockouts, it is presently unclear how the ICA and its members will proceed in these circumstances.  Stay tuned for further details.

Should you have any questions or are unsure how these changes will affect your organization or a production you are involved with, you can contact the authors or a member of our Advertising and Product Regulatory Group.

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