As part of greater changes to CAA’s salary policy, the agency has raised the starting wage for assistants from $15 to $18 an hour. The revisions were announced at the agency at the start of the year on Jan. 9, a source familiar with the matter tells Variety. Minimum wage for other hourly positions has also been raised.
In addition, the agency is restructuring the way that it grants pay raises to hourly employees. CAA has traditionally doled out raises at the end of the year. Among the changes announced Wednesday was a shift to what the agency characterizes as a more “progressive pay” model for wage increases tied to job changes that indicate progression within the company. Raises will now be handed out throughout the year in accordance with the new policy.
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CAA also introduced a student loan wellness program that allows participants to find better interest rates, among other things
The change at the major agency comes amid growing pressure within Hollywood to change long held industry-wide practices related to assistant pay and working conditions. The issue gained momentum in October when the hashtag #PayUpHollywood began circulating on Twitter attached to tales of poor treatment of assistants within the industry.
The wage revisions were being mulled at CAA well ahead of October, however, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The issue of income inequality, particularly as it relates to those on the lower rungs in the industry, have stirred strong feelings within the working support staff community.
“I thought someone needs to stir sh-t up first and I decided well, I might as well do it,” TV writer and WGA board member Liz Alper, who created the hashtag, told Variety at the time. “I’ve received so many stories and they were all just going to be sheets in the wind, but now you can see the magnitude of what the assistant community and what the support staff community in Hollywood are going through. It’s not just limited to those who work at an agency or work a desk, it’s also our set PA’s, our wardrobe PA’s, anyone who is trying to make it in the business. It’s a class privilege to be able to work in this industry nowadays.”
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