Editors Guild Chief Cathy Repola Reappointed To Board Of MPIPHP, Which Eases Requirement For Health Coverage During Strikes

Cathy Repola, national executive directors of the Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, has been reappointed to the board of directors of the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans, which cover members of IATSE and several other below-the-line unions.

Her reappointment comes after a very public falling out with IATSE President Matt Loeb back in 2018, when he unceremoniously booted off the P&H Plans’ board after she was the only IATSE local leader to oppose the ratification of the union’s film and TV contract.

Related Stories

Hollywood Stars Donate $1 Million Each To SAG-AFTRA Foundation To Aid Fellow Performers During Dual Strikes

WGA Raises $1.7 Million To Help Industry Workers Impacted By Strike

Two weeks after her return to the board on June 16, David Asplaud, the P&H Plans’ chief executive officer, sent IATSE local business agents a letter informing them that the Plans would be easing the requirements that their members need to qualify for health coverage in order “to help participants and dependents affected by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.” Read that letter here.

Normally, it takes 400 hours of work to qualify for health benefits, but for the benefit period Aug. 1, 2023-Jan. 31, 2024, those who have worked or banked 333-399.9 hours will now be credited with up to 67 additional hours. For the benefit period ending Feb. 29, 2024, those with at least 266 hours earned or banked will be credited with up to 134 additional hours, and for the benefit period ending March 31, 2024, those with at least 199 hours earned or banked will be credited with up to 201 additional hours.

The Health Plan granted a similar easing of qualifications during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when it credited active participants with up to 300 additional hours to help them retain their health benefits.

Last month, Loeb urged the Health Plan – half of whose board members come from labor and half from management – to grant a similar easing of qualifications. “Make no mistake,” he said, “if the studios truly cared about the economic fallout of their pre-emptive work slowdown against below-the-line crewmembers, they could continue to pay crewmembers and fully fund their healthcare at any moment, as they did in 2020 during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The new easing of qualification requirements is a big win for Loeb and for his members.

“I was appointed to the Board in 2017, shortly after becoming the National Executive Director of Local 700,” Repola said in an interview in the latest issue of Local 700’s CineMontage Magazine. “Yes, I was removed in October 2018 and I don’t want to rehash all of that. Now that I have been reappointed, I will only say I think that IA President Matthew Loeb reappointing me was the appropriate thing to do.”

RELATED: IATSE President Matt Loeb Calls On Studios To Extend Health Benefits To Crews Who Might Lose Them During SAG-AFTRA & WGA Strikes

Her return to the board, she told A.J. Catoline, chairman of the local’s Publications Committee, is appropriated because “more hours have traditionally been reported into the Plans on behalf of Local 700 than for any other single union entity. While every Director has the responsibility to act on behalf of all of the participants, regardless of affiliation, it certainly is warranted that Local 700 have representation on the Board.”

See her full interview here.

Back in 2018, Repola claimed that her removal from the board appeared to be in retaliation for her leading the opposition to the contract. Ratified overwhelmingly on Oct. 10, 2018, the Editors Guild was the only local whose members voted to reject it.

“You are being removed as a director of the Motion Picture Health, Pension and Individual Account Plans, effective today,” Loeb said in a letter sent to her two weeks later. “Thank you for your service to the Plans.”

In response, Repola and Editors Guild president Alan Heim told Loeb that “it is hard to avoid the troubling conclusion that Cathy’s removal is anything other than a retaliatory act for our opposition to the terms of the 2018 IATSE Basic Agreement. We reiterate our right, as the leadership of Local 700, and on behalf of our entire officers and board of directors, to freely represent the membership of our local, and we should be allowed to do so without attempts to undermine that right. We request that the decision to remove Cathy from the MPI board be reconsidered.”

It took him nearly five years to reconsider, but she’s now finally back onboard the board.

Must Read Stories

CBS Sets Fall Premiere Dates For ‘Yellowstone’, ‘Ghosts UK’, ‘SEAL Team’ & Reality Fare

WBD Q2 Hit By ‘The Flash’, Soft Ad Climate; CFO Says Strikes Have Saved $100M+

Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Charges: The View From The Scene

Tim Cook Lauds Apple TV+ “Imaginative Storytelling”, Doesn’t Mention Strikes

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article