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What is a scale rate? If I’m making more than the union scale rate now, will organizing this job make my rate go down?

A scale rate is a contractually determined minimum rate of pay for a given classification. You are always free to individually negotiate a wage in excess of scale, but, if you are working under an IATSE contract, your employer can never pay you less than the appropriate scale in its contract. We routinely negotiate language ensuring that those who enjoy "better terms or conditions" they have negotiated individually (e.g., over-scale rates) do not lose those conditions as a consequence of a contract being implemented. Just as your wage doesn’t go down when the legal minimum wage goes up, so people earning over-scale rates don't get brought down to contractual scale when we win a union contract. Scale is a floor, not a ceiling.

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