We the undersigned ask the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to add a third position - Key Assistant Location Manager - to the list of rostered Locations Department positions, in addition to Location Manager and Assistant Location Manager.
The lack of the Key Assistant position keeps experienced Assistant Location Managers stuck at the single rate with little room to negotiate, working alongside far less experienced Assistants at the same or similar rate but with more responsibilities.
The lack of a Key Assistant position encourages location professionals to move up to manager before they have necessarily acquired the appropriate experience and judgment needed to successfully carry out their duties in a natural effort to advance positions and receive better financial compensation. Both the craft and productions would greatly benefit from Location Professionals remaining Key Assistants and Assistant Managers for longer, gaining needed experience before moving up to Location Manager.
A key assistant location manager manages assigned locations. They scout, pull permits, write and negotiate contracts for the use of locations, determine equipment needs for that location, schedule vendors, and assign duties to the Assistant Location Managers. Their work often mirrors that of a location manager, but focusing on specific locations' day-to-day operations rather than the show's "big picture."
An assistant location manager focuses on the needs of set on location. They manage traffic control, heating, cooling, parking, cast holding, background holding, bathrooms, set protection and are the immediate liaison between the Production and the neighboring community during filming.
Adding a key assistant manager position will strengthen union membership growth. Location professionals are currently expected to have a significant amount of experience to become an Assistant Location Manager. Workers remain as non-union Location Production Assistants for far too long, without receiving (and contributing to) the benefits of organized labor despite being part of the Location Department. With the addition of the Key Assistant Location Manager position, the non-union Location Assistant or Locations PA position would be effectively eliminated with those working in the craft then covered by the Assistant Location Manager Position.
Teamsters Local 399 successfully uses three tiers within the Location Department and could be used as a possible template for IATSE to develop its own system.