Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Apparently there ARE residuals on my work, and they cover more than just me.

...and I feel better knowing that.

(Here comes math. I prepare to be corrected.)

So... apparently, when I write a half hour script, and am paid $7500... management kicks in about $1750 per script into health care. Which means that as an IATSE covered union type, you get full health care for $3500 per year.

Good health care probably costs 5 times that.

What makes up the difference? You guessed it: Residuals that go to the union, not me.

So, going back to the root of all this - the "Greater Good" comment:

How do feel about the fact that freelancers, and people who work on daily call, and short-term employees that work on my productions get covered because of these residuals? Better than I would knowing that money was simply not being collected.

It doesn't mean I'm thrilled with all aspects of TAG, but it does give me some small peace of mind to know that monies being raised on my work, work which COULD NOT have existed without others working on (or fixing, depending on who's leading the discussion), does something for them as well.

Other writers reading this? Kevin? Steve H? Obligatory Angry anonymous guy? Am I right in my numbers?

And if so, why the hell didn't somebody say so 48 comments ago? :)

26 comments:

Matt Wayne said...

As long as we're asking questions, what happens if health care gets reformed? Will 839's inadequate pension alone be enough to keep me in a union?

The 2008 wage survey named the minimum unit rate for a half-hour, $6569.58 and not a single person reported making that. I understand that the going rate is bound to be less than the negotiated minimum, but you'd think the wage survey would show somebody had cleared the bar bar once.

http://www.animationguild.org/_Contract/wages_pdf/WageSurvey2008.pdf

By the way, this is unique to writers. Nobody else is getting screwed so systematically. I hear it's all about leverage. So why do sheet timers have so much more leverage than I do?

And why do I bargain collectively with a union that does nothing to ensure I make my negotiated rate?

Anonymous said...

Matt, quick question: during the time you've been getting paid below the TAG minimums, how many times have you brought this fact up to Steve Hulett so he could file a greivence? I know in all the meetings I've been in which you were present, you've never mentioned a word about being paid below the minimums. If that's been happening to you, let's do something about it. My experience is that those kind of grievances are slam dunks.

About the wage survey, realize three things: First, notice that Jeff published the exact number of responses in all the writer categories. Why? Because the number of responses was so low that the wage numbers are close to useless. I believe he went ahead and published them (with the notation of the tiny 'n') so writers wouldn't get the impression TAG was slighting them. Sadly, we have no control over how many people choose to actually respond. The point here is that, for writers, the survey isn't worth much due to the lack of response by writers themselves.

Second, respondents are free to put in any number they want. The survey has no way to verify the actual pay. Some people round the numbers off, some people put down their net and not their gross.

Third, the survey was for 2007. The TAG minimum Jeff published was the rate after it bumped up on 7/29/2007. Prior to that it was $6378.23. Those responding with $6500 could have been responding for work done in the first 7 months of the year.

Also, that TAG minimum for half-hour episodes in the survey is for BOTH synopsis/outline AND screenplay. There's no seperate category in the survey, so it's possible some of those writers were getting $6500 while working off someone else's outline, and were being paid the $6500 for just the screenplay ('07 minimums for screenplay alone were $4965.27 and $5114.23).

Anyway, the key point in all this is that any writer working under a TAG contract who is not getting paid the CBA minimums needs to call Steve Hulett right away and rectify the situation.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot one other thing about the wage survey. It's sent out to all our members, but people are asked to respond about ANY animation wages they've received. I know that in other categories, non-union work, which is usually below the TAG minimums, is often reported (example, 3D animator making $992/week).

Kevin

Steve Hulett said...

... what happens if health care gets reformed? Will 839's inadequate pension alone be enough to keep me in a union?

Good question. If health care is reformed (and this came up in '94, when it looked like HillaryCare might become the Law of the Land), the residual money -- $371 million last year -- would likely be re-directed from health coverage to the IAP. Which would mean that annual IAP contributions for active participants would go up in a major way.

The 2008 wage survey named the minimum unit rate for a half-hour, $6569.58 and not a single person reported making that.

On half-hours, the survey reports network episodes (4 responses) ranging from $6,000 to $6,500, cable (10 responses) coming in from $2,591 to $6500, prime time (1 response) at $6500, syndicated (4 responses) at $3500 to $6500.

First off. All these things are anonymous. We don't know who's reporting, or whether the shows are WGA, TAG, or non-union. (The WGA often says that "all Prime Time Shows are WGA" so extrapolating from that, the prime time show in the survey could be WGA, yes?)

Second off. The $6569.68 Matt uses above would include synopsis and outline. The survey doesn't show if synopses and outlines are parts of the deals listed in the survey, or not. Most likely they are, but we don't know with total certainty because the survey forms don't say.

Lastly: If the $6500 rate, or the lower rates, are below contract minimums, I'm delighted to file grievances to get the full amounts.

All anybody has to do is call, and I will file the grievance the same day.

I understand that the going rate is bound to be less than the negotiated minimum ...

Actually, it should be more or the same as the contract minimum ... unless, of course, it's work done for a non-signator studio, then it could be any amount at all.

...but you'd think the wage survey would show somebody had cleared the bar bar once.

As stated above, some might have ... but we can't be sure what the forms are telling us re snynopses and outlines. (And the sample size for scripts is so small -- far smaller than most other survey responses -- that it's dicey to draw any conclusions about what writers are making across the industry.)

By the way, this is unique to writers. Nobody else is getting screwed so systematically ...

Untrue. Many people get short-changed, in all sorts of way, for all sorts of reasons. I'm in a position to know. And TAG pushes back all the freaking time.

I hear it's all about leverage. So why do sheet timers have so much more leverage than I do?

Sheet timers don't. Writers have made more advances under the TAG c.b.a. over the last three contract cycles by a wide margin. I can give you particulars if you want them.

And why do I bargain collectively with a union that does nothing to ensure I make my negotiated rate?

The way that TAG polices the contract is by the biz rep (me) going out into the workplace and talking to people working under it. I do this daily.

The other way is by members calling us and reporting contract violations. Everybody has been mailed a contract book, so if they think they're being shorted, they can check the c.b.a. and give us a call.

People call about possible contract violations on a daily basis. I come across problems out in the studios all the time.

Matt Wayne said...

So it's my fault and it's writers' fault, and we've got a better deal than we know. Cool.

Kevin - 21% of the writers responded. Most of us who ever took a statistics class know that isn't a useless response. And I never said I was one of the writers who got shorted. However --

Steve H.: - I probably should have mentioned this before, but Adelaide Prods. owes me $69.58 for Spider-Man #110, which I delivered on 8/23/07 and was only paid $6500 for. My agent didn't bill the whole $6569.58 for the original invoice but did follow up on 9/9 with an invoice and an explanation.

So, you're filing a grievance tomorrow, huh? Or am I doing something wrong again?

I really hope to see this money out of Adelaide. The fact that they've ignored my attempts to be paid the agreed amount (because my agents didn't know the minimums had gone up, not because the money isn't due) and will likely ignore this grievance you file does speak to the reason Sit Down/Shut Up writers ran like hell from IATSE, though.

Kevin said...

So it's my fault and it's writers' fault,

This is as far as I got. If this is what you took away from everything I wrote, then I'm not wasting any more of my time. See you cats later.

Matt Wayne said...

My fault.

Steve Hulett said...

I probably should have mentioned this before, but Adelaide Prods. owes me $69.58 for Spider-Man #110, which I delivered on 8/23/07 and was only paid $6500 for. My agent didn't bill the whole $6569.58 for the original invoice but did follow up on 9/9 with an invoice and an explanation.

So, you're filing a grievance tomorrow, huh? Or am I doing something wrong again?


I'm happy to file the grievance tomorrow. I'll call you when I get into the office, then start a Step One with Adelaide.

Why do you think you're doing anything wrong? It's merely a matter of telling me that you've been underpaid, and I'll get right on it.


No problem at all.

Matt Wayne said...

Thanks, Steve. Honestly, I only thought to do it because Kevin got all thin-skinned about the wage survey. But $70 is $70.

Marty said...

Guys, guys...

I'll be the first to admit our union is neither strong nor terribly aggressive, but the one thing they seem to be able to do on a fairly consistent basis is ENFORCE THEIR OWN CONTRACT.

Steve H. is neither claravoyant nor omnicient, but once informed he can usually address any grievance or oversight. Case in point, I once had a studio claim they didn't owe me any vacation and holiday pay because they paid script fees x percent above the minimum -- even though I had informed them several months earlier (through my agent) that they were, in fact paying me BELOW the minimum. In both cases, the studio grumbled, backpedaled, but after some back and forth from our own Mr. Hulett, ultimately paid up, simply because they had to adhere to the terms of a union contract that THEY THEMSELVES HAD AGREED TO IN THE FIRST PLACE.

The fact is, TAG 839, while not the ideal place for writers, HAS managed to make improvements, particularly in the area of hours needed for health benefits and raising our script fee mimimums to, for the first time ever, ABOVE THE "GOING RATE". While this only currently amounts to, as Matt put it, about a $70 bump, its significance should not be underestimated.

For the longest time, the studios have used the standard mantra "But we pay you writers so far above the union mimimum" as the excuse for no end of abuses. Well, guess what, that mantra don't wash no more. And, correct me if I'm wrong Steve H. and/or Kevin, but those minimums SHOULD continue to rise.

And here's a few more questions for the TAG experts: In general, do the minimums for other positions continually rise with each contract negotiation? Also, does the "going rate" for the average position hover somewhere around the minimum or is it significantly above? I'm talking average here, I'm sure it varies from position to position.

This information, and Steve M.'s desire to get a clearer understanding of the IATSE "residual" formula are the keys to negotiating for further gains. Maybe not WGA-level gains, but concrete gains nonetheless.

No studio is going to grant us WGA MBA level gains overnight. But we can certainly continue creep more improvements into subsequent contract negotiations.

I've been in this business since 1991, so it took at least that long (and probably a lot longer) for the union minimums to surpass the "going rate" Granted that is probably more a reflection of the stagnation of the "going rate" than tenacity of the union, but still... It may take just as long if not longer to approach some parity with WGA minimums, pension and the Holy Grail of "in pocket" residuals. But I think it's a goal worth striving for as we continue to "chip away" through smaller more achievable gains with each successive contract negotiation.

Just my $.02.

Kevin said...

And, correct me if I'm wrong Steve H. and/or Kevin, but those minimums SHOULD continue to rise.

You are correct. As of 8/3/2008, the new minimum for Synopsis/Outline/Script will move to $6766.67.

And here's a few more questions for the TAG experts: In general, do the minimums for other positions continually rise with each contract negotiation?

Yes. In the last few contract cycles, the year to year bump-ups in the minimums have been around a 3% increase per year. Because the "going rate" for scripts was so far above the union minimums, we were able to use that fact to get larger percentage bump-ups to the writer's unit rates during the 2003-2006 contract cycle (and maybe the 2000-2003 cycle, too, but I'm less sure of that one). That's a key reason we're finally at the point where the script minimums are now pushing the going rate higher. If you compare script and non-writer salary minimums from a dozen years ago to now, you'll see that the script minimums have risen at a significantly higher rate than the non-writer salary minimums. Yeah, they're still well below WGA minimums, but as you point out (and thank you for that), it's genuine improvement.

Also, does the "going rate" for the average position hover somewhere around the minimum or is it significantly above?

This varies significantly, based on supply and demand. A few years ago, most animators were at least a little above the minimums. Currently, a lot of people are at or only slightly above the minimums. During the boom in the 90's, many people were making WAY above the minimums.

Currently a lot of studios sign staff to deals with 5-10 hours of prepaid overtime, so the weekly paycheck looks a lot higher than the union minimums, but the salary is really at or near the minimum on an hourly basis.

Marty said...

Hey Kevin, thanks for the info. One other question for you and/or Steve: The "residual" payment that goes into our pension and health, is that negotiated by TAG or by IATSE? In other words, if we, say, wanted to try to improve our pension to aproach parity with the WGA, who would do the actual negotiating?

Kevin said...

The IA negotiates how much the studios contribute to our pensions. Our benefits are part of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan (MPIPHP), and TAG is but one of several dozen locals that are participants in the MPIPHP. As noted elsewhere, one thing that the IA leadership has pushed hard for in recent years is dramatic improvements in our pensions. The Defined Benefit Plan payout has improved by (as I recall) 83% over the last decade or so, and the Individual Account Plan is about 800% improved (it used to be worth about $600/year for someone working full time; as of August of this year, it will be worth about $5200/yr). I don't know if those two pensions will continue to improve at the rate they have been, but I know that's been a priority for the IA.

Matt Wayne said...

Glad to have you back Kevin. I've been thinking about what you wrote about the wage survey...

Why is the 20% response from writers worse than the 19% response from TDs, or realistically, the 21% response from producers and animators?

You said that the survey isn't worth much to writers due to their own lack of response. How does that NOT imply it's their own fault?

And if, as you say, Jeff noted the exact number of responses in each category, why can't I find the number of responses for staff positions?

Kevin Koch said...

It's not the percentage, it's the 'n' in each category. There were 4 half-hour categories. In one of those categories there was a single response. In two others there were only 4 responses. Given the actual number of scripts and writers and shows in question, I think this clearly wasn't anywhere close to 20% of the potential responses.

Also, given that not a single response in any of the four half-hour categories was at the minimum unit rate that applied for the second half of 2007, I have to question what little data was supplied.

Regarding the wage survey, let me ask you: whose fault is it if there are insufficient responses? I know that Jeff and I have done everything we can in advertising the survey, making it easy to complete, and hammering home the benefits of doing so. In many categories of scripts, the response was abysmal. This is also true of several other job classifications in the wage survey. The response rate to the survey is often piss poor, for reasons that remain obscure to me, and it keeps the survey from being nearly as beneficial as it could be. And the fault for that, in my opinion, lies with the very people for whom it would be most useful. If it's going to be construed that it's an insult to point this out, then so be it. And if you have suggestions for making the survey more useful to writers, by all means let Jeff know.

Finally, I don't really follow your last question.

Matt Wayne said...

I agree that any flaws in the data's the fault of the membership that provides it. Not particularly the writers, though, as you said it was and continue to imply. You stormed off when I noted you were blaming the writers. Then came back and implied it was our own fault.

Here's a simple fact: No writers reported making the minimums on unit rates. If that isn't significant with a 20% response, more than half the categories had insignificant responses. But only writers had an insignificant response that didn't clear the bar.

I'm sure there are reasons for this, though I'm starting to suspect you don't know them. Am I misremembering, or does the questionnaire ask to supply the most recent unit rates the respondent has earned? If so, and if the respondent's work is evenly split between union and non-union work, there's only a 50% chance that their response will accurately reflect the union minimum.

Maybe rearranging the questions so there aren't separate cable, network, prime time and syndicated categories will clean up the result. Where does a prime time cable show fit in there, or an overseas toy show? Respondents shouldn't have to interpret the data as they supply it. Especially if it's sparse, although again, the writers' 20% response rate doesn't seem that much sparser than animators' 21%.

My last question above, the one you didn't understand, was about the number of writer responses for the weekly rates as opposed to the unit rates. You misspoke when you said the exact number of responses in all writer categories were supplied. Only for the unit rates.

How many staff writers and story editors, earning weekly rates, responded? Is there a way to find out?

Kevin Koch said...

Matt, if you think in my last reply I said it was only the writers, or even primarily the writers, who were the dropping the ball on the survey, then I have to give up on your willingness to read my comments without slant and bias. In my last paragraph, virtually everything I wrote was about the general pool of TAG salary survey responders and non-responders. I even specifically stated that it didn't apply only to writers. But whatever.

As for my "storming off," you misunderstand why I did that. I initially responded to your original comment, in which you stated as if it were fact that writers (including you, since you used the first person singular) were systematically getting less than union minimums, and that the union knew about it and choose to do nothing.

You wrote, "Nobody else is getting screwed so systematically." This is written as a statement of fact, which it is not. You wrote, "And why do I bargain collectively with a union that does nothing to ensure I make my negotiated rate?" This clearly indicates that you have first hand experience with both this alleged systematic screwing, and with the union's alleged no-response.

If instead you had written, "Looking at the sketchy data from the wage survey, it appears writers are getting paid a tiny bit below the current minimum, and that this is happening to writers on a more consistent basis than other job classifications. Is that true, and if it is, why is it happening? Further, if it is happening, how can writers be expected to support TAG?"

See the difference? One is making inflammatory statements that aren't supported by any facts. The other is an open minded part of a useful dialog.

Instead of slamming you the way you slammed TAG, in my second comment I systematically pointed out how and why your statements were incorrect or misguided. I went out of my way to be clear, unemotional, and informative.

So when you came back with "So it's my fault and it's writers' fault, and we've got a better deal than we know", I assumed you were referring to your alleged statement that writers were being systematically screwed and that the union didn't seem to care. I didn't consider that you were implicitly backing off your original statements, and that you were now just talking about the lack of response to the wage survey.

So just to be clear, since pretty much anything I say is liable to be spun, let me repeat the points I've tried to make in this thread:

The wage survey is a flawed but fairly useful data set.

Since it is based on self-report, some of the given data may be inaccurate.

The survey is only useful to the extent it captures a significant sampling of each job category. Any group can, by their own choice to be non-responders, keep the wage survey from being nearly as useful as it could be.

Overall, writers are one such group, but are not the only such group. Since this entire discussion is about the data for half hour scripts, I only focused on the inadequacy of the data for half hour scripts.

My lack of specific comments about the inadequacy of the data regarding other job classifications should not logically be taken as evidence that I believe all the rest of the data is adequate. It is not. Common sense, and a personal knowledge of what peers are being paid, should guide how much weight one puts into the survey numbers.

With respect to the terms and conditions of the TAG CBA, the TAG office and officers (which includes three active writers) have no evidence that writers are being systematically screwed or systematically underpaid.

The moment the TAG office is informed of TAG members being underpaid, grievances are initiated. This assumes the affected member is willing to file a grievance. For this reason and the reasons stated above, the wage survey cannot be the basis for a grievance.

Underpayment of wages is hardly unheard of in other job classifications, and the success rate of those grievances is very high. But, as I stated above, Steve Hulett has not (until you yourself brought forward a single example) received calls from writers over the last year that they've been underpaid per the CBA, at least to my knowledge.

The TAG office will do everything in it's power to make sure the terms and conditions of the TAG CBA are followed for all members, including writers. The TAG business rep, however, cannot pursue grievances for which he has no information. Said information must come for the affected member. If this is taken as evidence that I think it is the individual member's "fault" when they accept underpayment and decline to initiate a grievance, then so be it. You can be certain that I don't believe it's the business agent's fault when he doesn't pursue grievances that he doesn't know about.

You're correct that Jeff only supplied specific numbers for unit rates (you'll note he did the same for sheet timers and for board artists, as is explained at the top of the wage survey).

You're also correct that I don't know why people put what they put on the wage survey. We send the survey out with instructions that we think are clear and simple, but we have no way of confirming the reasoning for what people actually write down.

You're likely correct that the instructions for writers could be clarified or simplified in some way. You're welcome to work with Jeff Massie on that for the next survey.

As for the exact number of story editors and staff writers who responded, a call to Jeff would probably get you an exact answer.

Matt Wayne said...

"The point here is that, for writers, the survey isn't worth much due to the lack of response by writers themselves."

That was you, mere inches ago by my count.

Spin it as narrowly answering a narrow question if you like, but your answer was to blame the writers.

Thanks for referring me to Jeff. I still don't get how NOBODY reporting the minimum with a 20% rate of response could happen unless most writers never see the minimum, but that's okay, neither do you. If you don't know how many responses there were, why do you insist on interpreting numbers you don't understand?

And if you really find my tone objectionable, please lighten the hell up.

Marty said...

If I may offer a few alternate suggestions as to why no writer who answered the survey reported making the current minimum or above:

1. The writers who responded were not writing on TAG covered shows.

2. The writers who responded were not aware of the bump in minimums, due to the fact that 839 minimums have historically been pitifully below the "going rate" -- and the studios were in no hurry to disabuse them of that notion.

3. The writers who responded decided to round down, despite the fact that anyone with a fourth grade math level could tell you that $6569.58 would round UP to $6600.00 to the nearest hundred or $7000.00 to the nearest thousand.

4. The survey was for the year 2007, in which the minimum didn't go above the going rate of $6500 until July 29, and the writers who responded did not write any union covered scripts after that date.

This would be a good time to point out that, as of 8/3/2008, the minimum for half-hour script plus outline goes up again to $6766.67, and don't anyone think for a second that the studios won't conveniently forget/ignore/hope no one notices that fact. It's up to us writers to stay on top of this, because, assuming the next contract negotiation is successful, THE UNION SCRIPT MINIMUMS WILL GO UP EVERY SINGLE YEAR FROM NOW ON. I think it's important for writers to educate themselves, their agents, and the union and non-studios they work for that, henceforth and forevermore, $6500 IS BELOW THE MINIMUM.

Yes, there IS systematic screwing going on, and it's coming from the studios. But we can prevent some of that screwing by reading our contract and knowing our minimums.

Matt Wayne said...

No argument here, but I will point out again that every other category had responses above the minimum, even if the response rate was as low or even lower.

Marty said...

Well, anecdotally, I believe both Disney and WB pay somewhat above minimum for scripts, Cartoon Network pays bare minimum (although they still short changed me by a few bucks, something I'm working out with our line producer, so no need to call in a grievance just yet), Nickelodeon WAS somewhat over minimum after I pointed out that they were paying below (I don't know where they are currently).

I guess I'm still a little fuzzy on your original point. You seem to imply that the survey reflects some shortcoming on the part of TAG (at least that's what I'm getting, correct me if I'm wrong). But all TAG has the power to do is negotiate the minimums (which, as I've pointed out repeatedly, they've done a pretty good job of FINALLY raising to above the "going rate" after years of the minimum being little more than a joke). Anything above and beyond that minimum is up to the writers and their agents to negotiate, not TAG.

So, back to Kevin's initial response to which you took such offence. The fault, while not entirely the writers' (the studios play a pretty big role here), is at least PARTIALLY the writers', 1) for not knowing their union minimum rates, and/or 2) for not asking for rates above that minimum. And, hey, sometimes we know and we ask for above and the answer is still no. Then, of course, it's totally the studios' fault.

So I would encourage every writer reading this to inform your agents of the current union minimum script rate (which now goes up every year around the end of July/beginning of August) and to keep pushing for that rate and above every time, union or non, even when the pre-emptive response is "well, this is what they're paying, take it or leave it". The more you demand it (or at least politely ask for it), the greater your odds of actually getting it. And if you're working union, there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for receiving less than the minimum rate.

Jeff Massie said...

Steve H. asked me to comment on the 20% response showing for writers on the January 2008 wage survey.

The 20% represents the number of staff writers who responded, as a percentage of the total number of salaried staff writers then on our books (9 out of 45). The 20% does not include anyone listed solely as a unit-rate freelance writer. For what it’s worth, we sent out surveys to 144 writers who we had listed as freelance and got 19 responses listing unit-rate writing work, but many of those 19 may have come from writers we had listed as staff writers or board artists.

Our records of who's working, and in what categories, rely on the so-called "status slips" that employers are required to file with the Guild.

Most freelance writers who respond to the wage survey give multiple responses in various unit-rate categories (i.e. they may quote a rate for a half-hour cable script, and another for a bible, etc.) Given that we have no way of knowing how many freelance writing jobs are done under our CBA, there’s no way to compute a response percentage. Thus, numerical counts rather than percentages.

Kevin Koch said...

Thanks, Jeff, for clarifying the numbers. Looking at the exact numbers, I note the response rate for freelance writers was less than 19 out of 144 (since some of those 19 unit rates responses came from people who were staff writers). So less than 13% of the freelance writers actually returned the survey. That is the lowest response rate of any job category in the survey, and is less than half the overall response rate for the entire survey. Make of that what you will, I'm just highlighting the numbers.

And thanks, Marty, for seeing the big picture, and for giving some real numbers that belie the survey results.

I do want to correct one thing in Marty's response. You seem to imply that I was suggesting it was writer's "fault" that they don't get paid more. What I was trying to communicate was that writers as a group are responsible for the abysmal return rate on the salary survey. Just as it's the TD's "fault" ("fault" was a word I never used, because it's pejorative, so I put it in quotes here) that the response rate in that category is 19%, making that data less than robust. And I was also pointing out that any writer who HAD been paid below the union minimum had an easy grievance, and that they should notify the TAG office. That's not assigning blame, merely pointing out a remedy available to any TAG member.

As a final note, I really encourage every writer to reread Marty's last paragraph. All this hoo-ha about the validity of the survey results isn't going to get anyone any more money (unless it reminds them that they have a valid grievance if they've been underpaid), but the call for writers as a group to try to leverage the new TAG minimums for more money is something everyone should take to heart.

Marty said...

Hey Kevin, sorry I didn't clarify, but I was addressing Matt's interpretation your remarks RE: the survey, writer's "fault", etc., not trying to put words in your mouth.

Kevin said...

That's cool, Marty, I just wanted my thoughts and feelings to be as clear as possible.

Llyn Hunter said...

Just as a note concerning royalties - considering how much you guys seem to be concerned about your raises in this discussion. The residuals that "go to the Union," get returned as a lump sum when you retire. If you pull out that fat spiral book they send once a year you will note that this sum is based on the number hours of contributed. Right now if you put in a full 30 years it is somewhere around $30,000 or so. On top of that, that pension you will get when you retire is an annuity. Something very rare now-a-days, and I for one appreciate the idea of getting a fixed sum until I die. Personally I can't say my 401K or IRA will be able to do the same.