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Gregory Irwin

Non Union Survival?

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And for the aged... though there has been announcements of shutting the facility down over the past several years... I think it is still in operation...

 

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The Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital is a retirement community, with individual cottages, and a fully licensed, acute-care hospital, located at 23388 Mulholland Drive in Woodland Hills, California. It is a service of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, providing services for members of the motion picture and television industry.

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My friend, you are correct in referring to our dedicated retirement community that is still going strong. It's not closing. I, however, have also referred to the other 4 medical centers that are funded by the MPTF and are for all ages.

 

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin

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My friend, you are correct in referring to our dedicated retirement community that is still going strong. It's not closing. I, however, have also referred to the other 4 medical centers that are funded by the MPTF and are for all ages.

 

G

 

Pretty damn impressive I must say.

 

R,

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If you thought there were a lot of people willing to give their labour away for free to work in the movies, check out the cheerleaders:

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/are-nfl-cheerleaders-being-exploited-1.2754361

 

R,

After reading the article, this is what I take away from it. In the US, people expect to get paid for services rendered but in Canada, they are expected to provide services for free. Is that why you are reliant on government healthcare? I know, I know. I sound snarky. I wish that you and I could do a picture together Richard. We would have a blast with the sarcasm! :)

 

Greg

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I wish that you and I could do a picture together Richard.

 

Yeah right, the budget would have to be 350 million dollars!!!

 

R,

 

The article I thought was relevant in a comical way because these cheerleaders are giving their labor away because so many of them want to be cheerleaders, the pro sports teams have realized the women will do this job for little or no pay. Very similar to film were hundreds of people line up to work for free.

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So, is it possible for non union, below the line employees to grow professionally over time?

Certainly! We all have to start somewhere. Unless you're descended from generations of union crew members and get handed a union card at 16, you've got to get work experience and on the job training in the non-union world for starters.

 

Hopefully as you get better and start working with more experienced crew, one of those guys takes a shine to you and gives you a chance to learn the right way to do things and meet the right people. And then, maybe, after several years you get a chance to join the union. This is a pretty typical experience based on anecdotal evidence from the crew members that I know.

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After reading the article, this is what I take away from it. In the US, people expect to get paid for services rendered but in Canada, they are expected to provide services for free. Is that why you are reliant on government healthcare? I know, I know. I sound snarky. I wish that you and I could do a picture together Richard. We would have a blast with the sarcasm! :)

 

Greg

Healthcare in the UK and Canada is free at the point of use. It's paid for through taxation. Of course one has the option of paying privately, but of course you still pay the tax.

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Healthcare in the UK and Canada is free at the point of use. It's paid for through taxation. Of course one has the option of paying privately, but of course you still pay the tax.

 

My experience is that it's actually quite difficult to pay for healthcare privately even if you are willing to do so.

 

You also have to pay the tax regardless of whether you have access to health care or not.

I've paid a lot out in tax over the years but have had little access to health care.

In some ways I think a system where you just pay for health care is fairer than one where you pay for the health care of others but struggle to get any yourself!

 

Freya

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I don't know where you are, or your personal circumstances, but I'm talking about the UK. Everyone has access to health care.

If you're a resident there's no problem at all. Just register with a doctor.

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I don't know where you are, or your personal circumstances, but I'm talking about the UK. Everyone has access to health care.

If you're a resident there's no problem at all. Just register with a doctor.

 

I'm here in the UK and that's actually a bit of a myth.

My present problem is that I need a utility bill and I don't have any utilities right now (solar).

So tomorrow I'm planning to go to a walk in centre and see what happens.

 

Aside from that there are still a lot of situations that people are denied health care here.

I don't know how sustainable it is, as you can see and hear the guilt in peoples voices as they turn you away.

In my experience it's best to just pay out the cash, but then you have to find private treatment which is rarer in this country for obvious reasons.

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black

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My understanding is that the UK health care comes out of the National Insurance, which you have to pay, so is technically an non voluntary Insurance scheme.However, you do get variations in treatment depending on where you live and there is commonly a wait for treatment (it can be quite long for some procedures), with not all treatments being available (commonly the very expensive with low return or some new cutting edge ones). It's probably at its best if you're involved in major trauma like a road smash, less so if you need to wait for a hip replacement.

 

Over and above that, you can have your own private insurance (eg BUPA) or pay the fees as they come, but you'll probably have to go to a private hospital or clinic. The most likely sector that UK people will go private is dentistry, which is a bit of mix anyway.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Insurance

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I simply don't recognise what you're describing. You simply give the details of your previous GP.

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1095.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=158

Your 'experience' must be very much out of the ordinary.

 

I was also shocked. I went through the list on the NHS website and found one place that wasn't demanding a utility bill. They just wanted the form. However when I turned up there with the form they were like "You will need to fill in our new form". "We also need a utility bill and some photo id and a copy of your tennancy agreement signed by your landlord!" which was a lot more than the other places on the NHS website that only seemed to want a gas bill!

 

This seems like a newer thing to me also, as previously it was a lot easier to get a GP as you suggest, although having a GP is not the same thing as having proper access to health care but it certainly is a good start! :)

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black

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Your 'experience' must be very much out of the ordinary.

 

BTW I think you are spot on with that. I think it's just the minority of people who find themselves without health care and that mostly it seems like literally anyone is able to get treatment as long as they are resident in the UK!

 

Freya

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My understanding is that the UK health care comes out of the National Insurance, which you have to pay, so is technically an non voluntary Insurance scheme.However, you do get variations in treatment depending on where you live and there is commonly a wait for treatment (it can be quite long for some procedures), with not all treatments being available (commonly the very expensive with low return or some new cutting edge ones). It's probably at its best if you're involved in major trauma like a road smash, less so if you need to wait for a hip replacement.

 

Over and above that, you can have your own private insurance (eg BUPA) or pay the fees as they come, but you'll probably have to go to a private hospital or clinic. The most likely sector that UK people will go private is dentistry, which is a bit of mix anyway.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Insurance

It really comes out of general taxation, NI is meant to cover welfare benefits and pensions; if your earnings are low you don't pay it.

The main point is that treatment isn't dependent on paying tax. There are waiting lists, of course- the demand is theoretically unlimited

and only so much can be afforded.

But if you need a certain treatment, you get it, regardless of cost, whether it's a course of drugs at £90/month or a heart transplant at hundreds of thousands.

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But if you need a certain treatment, you get it, regardless of cost, whether it's a course of drugs at £90/month or a heart transplant at hundreds of thousands.

 

In the real world it's not like that. Costs are definitely taken into consideration. I had a friend for instance with a cleft lip / palate type disfigurement. This was partially fixed to the extent that he could function okay but it was considered not worth the additional money to get things to the point where it would be less noticeable which was not something he was happy about as it obviously affected his life but there you are.

 

Some treatments are considered too expensive for the NHS and perhaps rightly so.

 

Sometimes certain people aren't considered worth keeping alive and efforts are made to minimise any kind of health care.

 

Sometimes treatment and care standards vary from area to area.

 

I don't disagree with all of this either. I think there is a certain extent that you have to try and squeeze the most out of the money available. I think people should be treated equally however, regardless of who they are. I also think that it is unfair when non tax payers get health care and tax payers do not but there we go...

 

Freya

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I don't know if my particular situation applies because I operate (no pun intended, but it works all the same) outside the normal paradigm of a motion-picture camera department.

I started as a Loader and Second on non-union projects until I was on one that turned union in the middle. After that, the pay increased dramatically and suddenly I was earning hours toward health insurance/care through Motion Picture.

After other nations began poaching our work by subsidizing a for-profit industry, I segued quite by accident into shooting behind-the-scenes, blending my long experience shooting video with my experience on movie sets. The union card helped too.

What changed money-wise was that I was making a lot more. Non-union doesn't always mean earning less. In my little niche of the world, this is partially because previous generations had gotten the rates up. Also contributing to that is we aren't typically paid via payroll, meaning if I invoice out for $700, then I get a $700 check, which means that most of my income is 1099'd so I'm having to pay quarterly taxes. It also means that I'm NOT usually earning any hours toward healthcare even though the vendors and studios which hire them and me sort of kinda "require" EPK/BTS to be union members. Obviously that in turn means that I am paying to get my own health coverage because I can't count on earning enough union hours to qualify for Motion Picture.

So bottom line is that I can do okay in yearly gross, but after I pull out taxes and health insurance, on top of living-in-LA expenses, I start to wonder why I'm here at all, considering most of the work isn't in LA anymore. And a lot of people are making that choice, to move out of LA toward tax-bribe States.

In an ideal world, the USA would dump the for-profit insurance scam and move entirely to "Universal Health Insurance." Look at what insurance really is: you put some of your own money into a giant pot of money full of other people's money. This is done on the assumption that you won't be able to pay your entire medical (or auto or home) bill on your own. Basically insurance is there because we're all too lazy to become self-reliant billionaires, so we all agree to mooch off the money of other people.

In a for-profit insurance paradigm, we give our money to these people "administer" those funds for us. They take our money and are supposed to dole it back out to actual medical professionals (doctors, nurses, etc) who treat our ills. Naturally, they skim some off the top for their own "administration" costs, up to 40% of every dollar in some cases. That means that only $.60 cents of every dollar we spend on medical insurance actually goes to pay for our health care. On top of that, it's well documented that for-profit insurance companies have entire divisions devoted to doing nothing but finding ways to deny covering a medical expense. The more they pay to medical professionals, the less those CEOs have to take home to finance their opulent lives. We're financing the Insurance CEO's opulent lifestyles because.... well, "Freedom!™" I guess. That's the Conservative argument against "socialized" healthcare, I'm told.

But consider if we had a "We the People" administered health insurance plan. Via taxes, we'd ALL contribute to the insurance pool and it would only cost an estimated 3% for administration of that. Suddenly, $.97 cents of every dollar would be going to pay actual medical professionals instead of just $.60 cents. AND everyone would have equal access to quality healthcare, namely, PREVENTATIVE healthcare which is less expensive than someone waiting until their pain gets really bad and they just go to the Emergency Room where treatment is more expensive. But they can do that, and choose to do that, because it was actually Saint Ronald Reagan who implemented EMTALA in 1986. EMTALA allows anyone to go to a hospital and get treated regardless of their ability to pay. Those costs, of course, are passed on to everyone else. But you don't hear Conservatives whining about EMTALA, likely because they've never really heard of it and if they did, they wouldn't dare disparage St. Reagan.

The ACA (aka Obamacare) isn't really designed to work perfectly because it is a Heritage Foundation idea to begin with. They are all about maintaining profits for the for-profit insurance industry. (but on the flip-side, there are now people who do have insurance who didn't before, so it's not completely bad.) And as long as we keep those insurance CEO criminals in the loop, there will always be people who fall through the cracks. Healthcare shouldn't only be for those who are wealthy or who work enough hours to earn the right to have that access. A functioning society depends on a healthy population and virtually nothing the United States does right now works toward that end because Profit™ is the A#1 goal, not a functioning healthy viable economy or society.

But that's what you get after 30+ years of Conservative government designed to bleed the economy for the benefit of those at the top. Is anyone really surprised that union membership on the whole is down? That "tax incentive" programs exist that slash taxes for the top 10% and push the burden of running a nation on the Middle Class? That Middle Class incomes are stagnant or falling while those at the top are doing better than they did in the Robber Baron era? The best societies are those with mixed-economies, namely a nation like Denmark which "socializes" things like healthcare and education while still maintaining a REGULATED free market. We're moving headlong right into classic Fascism/Corporatism which has a domino effect on everything else in society. Things like wages and healthcare are just symptoms of a greater more fundamental problem.

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AND everyone would have equal access to quality healthcare, namely, PREVENTATIVE healthcare which is less expensive than someone waiting until their pain gets really bad and they just go to the Emergency Room where treatment is more expensive.

 

 

YES! In some ways it's kind of crazy to deny people health care because they just get sicker which in theory is okay because you don't have to treat them when they get really sick either but I notice that whenever there is some kind of a major health scare like swine flu or russian flu or something else then I'm top of the list for the vaccines because they are worried that my immune system is compromised and I will become a typhoid Mary and spread it around the population (nice!).

 

It's actually better to make sure the entire population is healthy. It's good for everyone.

 

Freya

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Given the percentages of annual spending , the UK National Health Service is extremely cost effective and even those higher spending European services are still lower than the US, even though not everyone one there has the same level of cover. Although, my impression is that health professionals in the US seem to get paid higher, which adds to the labour costs.

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I hesitate to stick my toe into these potentially bubbling waters, but here goes anyway.

 

I don't care how healthcare is funded as long as it's affordable to people.

 

I think most of us start from the position that we don't ideally want someone with, say, appendicitis to die on the street for want of funds, but equally, government-funded schemes can lead to the impression among the populace that healthcare is not only free but has no value and requires no resources to sustain it.

 

Obviously there's a happy medium here somewhere, but it's certainly true that self-employed individuals in the UK are being greatly subsidised, compaired to the US situation, by national healthcare. Which might be fine. Americans seem to get paid more. As I say, I have no political axe to grind. I just want it to work.

 

P

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YES! In some ways it's kind of crazy to deny people health care because they just get sicker which in theory is okay because you don't have to treat them when they get really sick either

Ah, but we do via EMTALA. For all the whining about "Obamacare" being "socialist" when there's nothing socialist about paying a for-profit company for a service, virtually nothing is uttered about EMTALA which gives a non-insured person the right to walk into almost any hospital emergency room and get treated free of charge. It's not free, of course, because those hospitals merely pass those costs onto everyone else who can pay.

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For some reason, the Insurance Company CEO webpage didn't stay in my previous post, so I'll try to include it again so everyone who isn't aware of how much we're being fleeced can see it firsthand.

Keep in mind that these people are not doctors or medical professionals of any kind. They are merely bankers, taking YOUR money to presumably provide a service (paying health care professionals)...but instead, work really hard to pay doctors as little as possible and deny YOU the healthcare you're supposedly paying to get.

But Freedom!™ ya know.

http://sickforprofit.com/ceos/


UnitedHealth CEO
Stephen J. Hemsley
2007 Compensation
$13.2 million
2008 Compensation (Forbes)
$3,241,042
Former Managing Partner and CFO of Arthur Andersen(BusinessWeek)
Total Value of Unexercised Stock Options (Forbes)
$744,232,068
2009 Options Exercise
$127,001,281
Value of Wayzata, Minnesota Home (Hennepin County Assessor)

 

$6,640,000
CIGNA CEO
Edward Hanway
Five-Year Compensation, as of April 30, 2008 (Forbes)
$120.51 million
Total Value of Unexercised Stock Options (Forbes)
$28,881,000
Value of New Jersey Beach Home (Cape May County Assessor)
$13,607,400
Humana CEO
Michael McCallister
2007 Compensation
$10.3 million
2008 Compensation (Forbes)
$1,017,308
Five-Year Compensation Total (Forbes)
$15.1 million
Total Value of Unexercised Stock Options (Forbes)
$60,865,194
2006 Options Exercise(SECForm4)
$22,294,710
Value of Park City, Utah Home (County Assessor)
$6,978,380
Aetna CEO
Ronald A. Williams
2007 Compensation
$23 million
2008 Compensation (Forbes)
$24,300,112
Total Value of Unexercised Options (Forbes)
$194,496,797
Williams is in the top
ten of Forbes'
"$100 Million CEO Club."
Coventry CEO
Allen Wise
CEO from 1996-2004, and from January 2009-Present
2004 Compensation (Forbes)
$13,052,799
2006 Sale of Stock
$14,458,251
2006 Options Exercised
$2,895,000
2005 Sale of Stock
$46,410,695
2005 Options Exercised
$6,709,564
2004 Sale of Stock
$12,826,756
2004 Options Exercised
$4,798,000
Value of Hilton Head, SC Home (Beaufort County Assessor)
$3,275,500
WellPoint CEO
Angela Braly
2007 Compensation (secinfo)
$9,094,271
2008 Compensation (Forbes)
$9,844,212
2006 Sale of Stock (SECForm4)
$4,858,585
2006 Options Excerise(SECForm4)
$4,566,124
Value of Indianapolis Home
$1,987,700

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Ok. Let's get back on topic. I was afraid that this thread would go down this political road. There is nothing wrong with debating this but not here. Please take it to a new topic if you wish to proceed. Thanks for all of the replies. It's been an education and a good subject to share one's experiences about.

 

Greg

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Americans seem to get paid more. As I say, I have no political axe to grind. I just want it to work.

 

P

I haven't seen a comparable pay chart to know for sure, but you're likely correct. However, it's also likely that Americans on the whole pay more OUT to get products and services than Europeans do.

 

-University costs are exorbitant in the US

 

- as well as health insurance, as mentioned

 

-Many people also put their children through private elementary and High Schools because public education is being gutted by Conservative policies.

 

- We also pay a lot for our Defense Department which, arguably, is subsidizing the defense costs of many European nations which don't have to spend as much because they rely on the US taxpayers to defend their interests for them.

 

- US taxpayers also hand out billions in subsidies to for-profit industries, such as Oil, Coal, and the film industry.

 

There's a lot of whining about high taxes in the USA even though taxation is actually on the low-end of the scale relative to our history. Of course most of that whining is directly or indirectly aimed at "welfare" and "food stamps" and anything that is considered part of the social safety net. What Conservatives don't seem to want to understand is that those programs wouldn't be necessary if we taxed the wealthy sufficiently (as we did in the period between 1932 and 1980), ensured high employment and high pay for labor (which we did between 1932 and 1980 prior to GATT/NAFTA), regulated the financial sector to prevent economic bubbles and meltdowns (as we did between 1932 and 1980), provided free education K-PhD level, and free health care to everyone. And for god's sake, stop spending 4% of our GDP on "Defense."

 

Redirecting the taxes we do collect into public investment instead of funneling money to the top 10% has worked in the past and can work in the future. "Trickle Down" as preached by the likes of Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan is a proven failure, but has so permeated the fabric of multiple societies that only a massive re-education campaign can possibly reverse the incessant damage it is causing.

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I don't know if my particular situation applies because I operate (no pun intended, but it works all the same) outside the normal paradigm of a motion-picture camera department.

 

I started as a Loader and Second on non-union projects until I was on one that turned union in the middle. After that, the pay increased dramatically and suddenly I was earning hours toward health insurance/care through Motion Picture.

 

After other nations began poaching our work by subsidizing a for-profit industry, I segued quite by accident into shooting behind-the-scenes, blending my long experience shooting video with my experience on movie sets. The union card helped too.

 

What changed money-wise was that I was making a lot more. Non-union doesn't always mean earning less. In my little niche of the world, this is partially because previous generations had gotten the rates up. Also contributing to that is we aren't typically paid via payroll, meaning if I invoice out for $700, then I get a $700 check, which means that most of my income is 1099'd so I'm having to pay quarterly taxes. It also means that I'm NOT usually earning any hours toward healthcare even though the vendors and studios which hire them and me sort of kinda "require" EPK/BTS to be union members. Obviously that in turn means that I am paying to get my own health coverage because I can't count on earning enough union hours to qualify for Motion Picture.

 

 

 

The idea behind quarterly taxes is that you are in business for yourself, and as such, you can write off your health care costs, your travel expenses, supplies, equipment, and other expenses relating to the cost of doing business.

 

The idea is that if you're business is functional, then you can pay for your own health care, and, if you're self employed, and you are your own employee, then you can write that off at the end of the fiscal year.

 

p.s. can someone post some typical rates in other countries? UK? France? Germany?

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