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How To Become A Member

Union membership gives you a voice in all Local 796 affairs, allowing you to participate in contract negotiations, vote on contract ratifications, help choose union leadership, and serve as a union steward or a union officer. You are also eligible for several programs sponsored by the IATSE International. We encourage all dedicated television technicians who want a voice in the policies and practices of the Union to apply for membership.

If you want to become a member of IATSE 796 it is recommended that you first submit an application for the referral list. This will give the IATSE a chance to review your credentials and determine if you have the necessary skill set to work under the IATSE 796 contracts. If you do not first submit an application for the referral roster, you may be asked to do so before your application for membership is processed. Once your referral application has been accepted you must then request an application for IATSE union membership. Since this is a multi-layered form, it must be mailed to you and you must return it by mail also. You can request an application by emailing our Secretary-Treasurer at secretarytreasurer@iatse796.org.

Along with the application we will mail you a small pledge card, which must be signed and returned with your application. We also send an example of a completed application and a withholding authorization form.

The initial cost of union membership is $190.00. Of this sum, $100.00 is paid to the IATSE International as an initiation fee and $50.00 goes to your first IATSE International stamp. Local 796 is paid $40.00. Send the completed forms and appropriate payment to:

IATSE Local 796
P. O. Box 70826
Houston, TX 77270

Once we receive your application, we will review it and then forward it to the IATSE International offices. They will again review and either accept or deny your membership. Either way, you will be notified of the disposition of your application. If accepted, you will receive a Union card and quarterly stamp. The application process can take as long as two months.

Once accepted, your ongoing financial obligations to the IATSE will be $90.00 per quarter and 1% of gross earnings under the contract. Of the quarterly sum, $50.00 is paid to the International for your stamp, $3.00 is paid for district dues and $37.00 is used to help pay Local 796 operating expenses. You will be issued a new IATSE stamp for each quarter which you are current. Quarterly due dates are January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

The 1% fee is a referral fee. Any qualified freelance technician can pay this fee and be included on the IATSE 796 referral list, Union member or otherwise. You can sign a withholding form and have the 1% referral fee withheld from your check. If you choose the withholding option, you will not have to worry about remaining in good status on the referral list. We will provide a withholding form for you.

If you choose to calculate and self-pay the 1% fee, you may expose yourself to removal from the referral list if such payment is not received in a timely basis. IATSE Local 796 highly recommends the withholding method for paying referral fees to help minimize costs. Referral fees are mandatory for union membership.

It is important to note that you do not have to be a union member to work under the contract. Contracted employers have agreed to give preference in hiring practices to those referred by IATSE Local 796, but the referral process is completely separate from IATSE Union membership. All employees receive equal benefits under the contract, regardless of their membership status with IATSE Local 796.

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