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Hollywood Reporter: Over 80 Percent of Reality TV Pros Are Uninsured, Receive No Overtime, New Survey Finds

Data collected from members of the advocacy group the Nonfiction Professionals "Union" also suggests wages have stagnated in some roles over the past 20 years.

Over 80 percent of professionals working in nonfiction and documentary television do not have health insurance and have worked significant amounts of unpaid overtime in the past five years, according to the results of a new survey released by a group advocating for better protections for these workers.

Eighty-two percent of 128 polled nonfiction TV workers say they are currently uninsured (with less than 16 percent receiving health insurance from their employer), while 85 percent say they have worked six- to seven-day work weeks with 12- to 16-hour days in the past five years without overtime pay, according to data from the NonFiction "Union." (It is a violation of California Labor Code Section 510 for employees to work those hours with no overtime pay.) The group, which began meeting in 2018 and now has more than 1,500 professionals in its membership, released the data as part of a new awareness initiative that is kicking off Wednesday called #RaiseOurStandards. The campaign aims to shed light on the current work and wage reality for the nonfiction TV workforce, composed largely of non-unionized workers, though writers at some production houses on the East Coast have notably organized with the WGA East and the Editors Guild has unionized a few others in the past decade.

As part of the campaign, the NFU also released data on weekly pay for standard roles in nonfiction and documentary television over time to make the case that wages have stagnated. The average rate for a story producer in 2000 was $2,225.00 a week, while in 2019 it was $2,202.72, according to the group, which arrived at the figures by combining 2017-19 pay survey data from the popular Women Working in Reality Facebook group (which yielded 2,505 responses) with that from a 2020 NFU survey (224 responses). The average rate for a story associate producer also fell between 2000 and 2019, from $1,925.000 a week to $1,287.88, while a supervising producers' ($2,812.50 to $2,862.50) and production managers' rates ($2,020 to $2,031.32) stayed largely stagnant.…

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