Animation Guild Ratifies Nickelodeon Renewal Agreement

Employees of Nickelodeon Animation Studios "strongly ratified" a new two-year contract between Nickelodeon and the Animation Guild, the guild announced Tuesday. The agreement was reached between representatives of the guild and the Viacom unit a week ago and was voted up at in-person meetings Monday.

The new collective bargaining agreement includes 10 sick days per year. It also contains the package reached in the 2015 AMPTP-Animation Guild negotiations: 3 percent wage minimum increases and hikes in the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan, in addition to larger pension and health plan contributions. The guild has had a contract with Nickelodeon since 2002.

"We want to congratulate Nickelodeon on the productive contract talks," said Animation Guild business representative Steve Hulett. "The discussions would not have gone as well as they did without the input and assistance of IATSE vice president Mike Miller. There were issues to resolve and both sides, working together, resolved them. Nick[elodeon] employees recognized the value and improvements in the new deal and voted accordingly."

The guild is Local 839 of IATSE, the union that represents most unionized entertainment crewmembers. In an email to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesman said that more than half of eligible employees voted, but would not specify actual numbers or the yea/nay tally. The preceding agreement expired over the summer.

A Nickelodeon spokesperson did not immediately provide a comment, but was preparing one. We'll update when received. The studio produces a variety of content, notably the hit SpongeBob SquarePants.

The guild represents much television and theatrical animation work in Los Angeles County and has contracts with Disney, Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks Animation and various small studios.