Frequently-Asked Questions


Access to union resources is the main benefit of being a member of the union.

Here’s what has to happen for you to get a rebate check:

  1. You must be a member of the union.
  2. You must have a zero balance as of November 30.
  3. The local must receive over $1,750 in 4% work dues between December 1 and November 30.
  4. You may receive a small check to ensure that no member pays more than 3% in work dues.


No. You are not.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

In a word, no.

Because we are a Studio Mechanics local, you can take advantage of being able to work in any of our listed crafts and still get the benefits of working under our contracts.

It depends.

‘Volunteer Hours’ are technically a part of the initiation fee, owed after joining the union (if you joined before 1/1/18). They’re the only part of the initiation fee that may be paid off over a period of time. You’ll have two years in order to complete eight hours of volunteer time. If the time is not put in during that initial two-year period, your Local 480 account will be billed for any uncompleted hours at the ‘journeyman’ rate.

Volunteer opportunities are often advertised to the membership through e-mail blasts, but we’ll also accept volunteer hours you’ve done for charitable organizations (with proof of the hours).

If you joined the local any time after 1/1/18, you are not required to volunteer, but your Local 480 account will be credited up to 8 hours at the ‘journeyman’ rate if you volunteer within one year of your initiation date.


In this case, ‘private message’ is a total misnomer. It is absolutely trivial for office staff to read these messages. If you need absolute privacy in your communications, you should not use to convey them.

This is only a safe-guard against misuse of the PM system. Unless we hear about abuse, our policy is not to read the private messages of others.

They most certainly are. Head over here to see 480 contracts and here for IA national contracts.

Unfortunately, no.

Our contract with the International dictates which specific crafts are covered within our jurisdiction. If your craft isn’t on our list, it may be covered by a different union – or not covered by a contract at all.

Taking an Honorable Withdrawal from the Local is an option for putting your membership on hold. While you are withdrawn, you agree not to work in a contract position in our jurisdiction. Should you wish to reinstate your membership, you will be responsible for up to eight quarters of back dues and must provide two current letters of recommendation and a valid New Mexico drivers license. In order to qualify for an Honorable Withdrawal, you must be current on all quarterly dues, work dues, and any other outstanding financial obligations to the Local (you do not pay membership dues for the quarter in which you withdraw).

If you wish to do this, send a written request to

Yes you can, though you might make more contacts while working on set.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • volunteering for 12 hours = 1 day
  • 1.5 volunteer days = 1 union day

So, if you worked 45 volunteer days, it would equal 30 union days and you would be granted an application to join.

All volunteer days must be coordinated through the Outreach Coordinator, who can be reached at

Your W-2’s come from the payroll company, so you should call them to get a replacement.

Below are phone numbers for some of the most-used companies.

Entertainment Partners (EP): 818-955-6000

Cast & Crew: 818-848-6022

Ease: 310-469-7300

No. We do not receive copies of your pay stubs.

AND, we do not know exactly when you worked because the date that we receive 4% checks from the payroll company does not always coincide with the dates worked.

If you have not saved your pay stubs, you can ask the payroll company to send you a report that shows all of the work that you have done for them.

Here are phone numbers for some of the payroll companies:

Entertainment Partners — 818-955-6000

Cast and Crew — 818-848-6022

Cast and Crew (ABQ) — 505-247-0868

Ease — 310-469-7300

Forward Processing — 310-471-9349

Category: Member Features


When you complete the course, the completion message should come with a link to download your certificate. You can also download your certificates at any time by heading to your profile -> Classes -> Completed Classes.

Related FAQs:

How do I print my General Safety certification in business card-size?

Yes. The Initiation Fee must be paid all at once.

It’s a good idea to start saving up when you begin working; that way you’ll be ready to join when you complete your 30 days.

You will also need to pay any outstanding 4% work dues before your application is sent to the IA for endorsement.

It depends.

If the office receives a copy of the crew list and your name is on it, then we enter it for you.

If you were a day-player, didn’t show up on the crew list, or if the office did not receive a crew list, you will need to enter the information yourself.

No. The procedure for filing a claim for unemployment insurance is detailed on the DWS website (and some tips are here). Once you have filed your claim, DWS will call the Local to confirm your union membership. If requested, the 480 office can also fax a form verifying your membership to DWS. However, the Local has no contact person at DWS.

Category: Members


Here in New Mexico, productions are allowed to hire whomever they wish. They have lots of incentive to hire our members, but there’s no guarantee that they will do so. It is also up to you to make connections, build a reputation, and find each job.

Because of this, and because production do the hiring, it isn’t possible for Local 480 to place members in positions. But, we do everything within our power to keep members employed, and we always will.

Category: Overflow List


It would be illegal for them to share any of your information with us, so we do not receive that sort of information from any production.

This also means that it is important for you to keep us informed of changes to your phone number, email address, and mailing address. You can make these changes .

Categories: Members, Overflow List

Yes. In order to join, you must be at least 18 years of age. This applies to both union membership and the Overflow List.

Any volunteer-related questions, including questions about volunteer opportunities, should be addressed to

Categories: Members, Overflow List

Local 480 does not receive copies of your pay stubs, but you can call the payroll company and ask for a copy of your payroll report. It will show all of the work that you have done for that company.

Here are the phone numbers for the most popular companies:

Entertainment Partners: 818-955-6000

Cast & Crew: 818-848-6022

Cast & Crew ABQ: 505-247-0868

Ease: 310-469-7300

Forward Processing: 310-471-9349

The registration form is located within the Overflow List menu in the navbar above. If you’re interested in getting on the Overflow List, you should read the other pages in that menu before submitting a registration form.

Accounts on are for members and potential members only.

In order to qualify for an interest-free loan up to $1,000, you must be a member in good standing (owing less than $100 for fewer than 60 days) and have been a member for at least one year. Call the office to have an application sent to you or stop in to fill it out. Once the loan is approved by the Secretary Treasurer, it is sent to Nusenda, our credit union. They contact you and work out the details of getting your the money. It generally does not take more than a day or two, but special circumstances can slow down the process. You have one year to pay back the loan before it goes into default. If a member defaults on a loan, the credit union makes itself whole from the collateral fund, and then the default amount is added to the member’s account with Local 480. A member who has defaulted on a loan is not eligible for another loan. 

Categories: Benefits, Members

The local has hired a specialist, Shira Landman, to help our members with their benefits (health insurance, pension, annuity). She only works a couple of hours a day, so it’s best to send her an e-mail with your question. She’ll get back to you to arrange a time to help you out. You can contact Shira by sending an e-mail to

Categories: Benefits, Members

Since the local does not provide job placement, it is up to you to make connections, build a reputation, and find work. Click here for general tips.

The best person to ask is your UPM. Give him/her a call.

This can be accomplished in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Avoid printing the document directly from your browser. Web browsers intentionally ignore pixel densities because images work differently on the web than they do when they are intended for print. Even if the image specifies 600 pixels/inch, browsers will display it 1:1, pixel-to-pixel.
  2. If you’ve got an image manipulation program on-hand such as GIMP, Photoshop, Paint.NET, etc., simply open the file and hit ‘print.’ These more advanced programs will properly detect the pixel density and print the card in business-card-size.
  3. Open the certificate in your favorite .pdf reader. Hit ‘print.’ When the print dialog appears, look for an option to constrain or alter the sizing of the printed document. Change the sizing to 2″ in height and 3.5″ in width and hit print.

You should report any concerns regarding unfair labor practices to your on-production steward, or directly to your Business Agent, Jon Hendry (505-670-7381).

All site approvals enter a queue and are evaluated in the order they are received. Depending on the number of approvals in the queue, it may take a few days for us to get to the entry on which you’re awaiting approval.

All Local 480 staff have access to the queue and can approve entries, though some may be able to attend to approvals more often than others.

When your entry is approved, you’ll be notified via e-mail. These e-mails can be disabled in the ‘Settings’->’E-Mail’ section of your profile.

See also:

Why must certain information I change be approved before it is updated?

Category: Profile

Once you register an account and are verified, we will send a letter to the IA in New York, requesting permission to reinstate you. Within a week or two, they will send back a letter, informing us how much is owed in back dues.

If you are reinstating from an Honorable Withdrawal, the most you will owe in back dues is 8 quarters. You must pay at least $200 at the time of reinstatement with the expectation that you will pay the full amount within 6 months of your first payment. If you have not made payments in over 6 months, you may be removed from the roster and placed back on Honorable Withdrawal.

If you were expelled, you will owe the IA all back dues from the time of expulsion. The 480 puts a cap on  back dues owed the local at $800. There is also a $200 reinstatement fee. You will be expected to pay at least 1/2 of the monies owed at the time of reinstatement and will owe the full amount within 6 months of your first payment. If you have not made payments in over 6 months, you may be removed from the roster and placed back on expulsion.

When you’re on the Overflow List, work for at least 30 days in a covered craft on a contract production, and turn in copies of your pay stubs, you’ll be sent an application. (This part of the process can take anywhere from a month or two to a couple of years.)

Once you return the original application form and full Initiation Fee and after the membership has approved your request to join, we will send your application to the the International in New York for endorsement. They will send a  membership card for you to the 480 office and the office will mail your card and new member packet to your address of record. (This part of the process generally takes from 8-12 weeks.)


Category: Overflow List

There is NO CAP on work dues paid in. You must pay in 4% of your gross earnings (excluding kit rental, auto, and certain other amounts) to the Local whenever you are working in a covered craft on a contract production. This holds true no matter how much or how little you earn.

We can tell you how much we received from the payroll companies, but you should not use this information for tax purposes as the amounts received do not necessarily correspond with the dates that you worked. And, our fiscal year runs from December 1 through November 30, which is not the same as the federal and state tax years.

The best way to get the correct information for your taxes is to save all of your pay stubs.

Category: Members

If a production needs to fill a position and cannot find any union members, the Local will send an email blast to everyone on the Overflow list, notifying them of the job opportunity. If you are available to take that job, you should reply to the job blast as instructed, and your information will be forwarded on to the production for consideration.

Information about productions is available only to Local 480 members.

Once you are a member of Local 480, you will be able to see the list of productions currently hiring, along with contact information for the productions. You will also receive any job blasts requested by productions (and will have your information forwarded on to productions if you are available to fill a call), and will have access to the jobs board listing of jobs available. All productions are given access to the roster of active 480 members as well.


We list people by their legal names, by default. You can also enter your nickname, if you have one.

Be sure that you know their legal name and are spelling it properly. If you don’t go by your legal name, you can submit a request to go by an alternate name.

And, if someone is not currently active (they took an Honorable Withdrawal or were expelled), they will not show up in a roster search. Feel free to contact the office if you need more information.

See also:

What can I do if I don’t usually go by my legal name?


No. People with the status of ‘expelled’ are still able to log in to the site, but they’re restricted to their own profile.

If you have an account, but you aren’t able to sign in, you may be using an incorrect username or password. Your username is your e-mail address. Your can reset your password using the sign-in page.

If you’re still having trouble, contact us for help.

Category: Member Features

Send your question to the membership coordinator. The e-mail address is 


Category: Overflow List

Not in the official ‘Skills & Certs’ section. We may add this feature in the future, but for now you can list other skills and certifications you may have under ‘Experience’ or ‘Education’ in the ‘Bio’ section of your profile.

If you think the list is missing something, submit a help ticket with the name of the skill, certification, or license you’d like added.

Category: Profile automatically checks to see if your account is logged-in on any other computers every time you sign in. If you left any sessions open, they will be automatically closed.

You can test this yourself, if you’ve got more than one browser installed. Log into in one browser, then with a different browser. You should quickly see your account in the first browser log-out.

You can update your address – or e-mail – or phone number directly from your profile. Just click on the ‘edit’ button and fill in the new information. Then, be sure to click on the ‘update profile’ button to save the new info.

Be sure, as well, to update your IATSE Nation Benefit Funds profile. Just log into your account here , click on ‘my profile’ , and make the changes. If you haven’t yet set up your account, you can register right there.

Not Necessarily.

If you’re working on a contract production, that production is obligated by the contract that they’ve signed with the union to provide benefits to anyone working in a craft covered by Local 480.

The IATSE National Benefits Fund generally sends a packet of information to you when the balance in your account reaches the cost of one quarter of health insurance. But, this does not make you a member of the union. If you’ve worked enough to get health insurance, you should have sufficient pay stubs to turn in to get an application.

It’s also possible that you’ll receive communications from the individual providers of each benefit, such as Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield for insurance, or Wells Fargo for retirement.

Categories: Benefits, Joining 480

Take the classes!

If you have an account on this site, you’ve already provided the things we need for you to get started. But, it is up to you to then take the classes here. Until you do, you will not be eligible for the Overflow List.

In the menu on the left, click on each class under the Required Classes menu. You’ll be able to take the classes right on this site, for free!

Once you finish the classes, you can request to be placed on the Overflow List by heading to the ‘480 Tools’ section on the left-hand side of the site and clicking on the ‘overflow ready’ link .

In order to be listed as a Studio Teacher/Welfare Worker, we must have a valid copy of your New Mexico teaching credentials on file (Substitute teaching credentials are not acceptable). You will upload that information with the other required items when you register for an overflow account.

Once you are a member of Local 480, you are welcome to join others. Keep in mind that each local has its own requirements to join and that as long as you are a member of Local 480, you will be responsible for quarterly membership dues.

If you’d rather transfer your membership to another local, you can click here to see how to go about doing that.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

The contract says that everyone in a covered craft should have work dues withheld. If you are a steward and follow all of the instructions as stated in your steward book, you will be reimbursed for those dues.


See ‘What is my steward credit and how do I get it?” for more information.

Category: Members

This site is specific to people who’d like to get onto the Overflow List in order to become a member.

If you’re already a member, you should still use

Local 480 medics are responsible for purchasing the required identifying gear to wear on set. Members can take advantage of our program that rebates up to $50 (per calendar year) for gear purchased when a receipt is provided.

Send your request, with desired sizes, to

Categories: Benefits, Members

This site is only for non-members. If you’re already a member, there’s nothing for you here.

The local does not have access to your health benefit information. And, the plan that you chose determines exactly what benefits you have.

The best thing to do is either go online or call the provider to get your information. Listed below are the providers:

Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield:  800-553-9603  or

Davis Vision:  800-999-5431 or

Delta Dental:  800-932-0783 or

CareMark (prescriptions): 800-896-1997 or

This depends on where you currently are in the process, but here are some issues that commonly hold people back from becoming a member:

  • Getting Work – Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for someone to forget that they haven’t joined yet because they’ve gotten steady work. Sometimes we run into folks who have made the assumption that if one is working, one must be a member. This isn’t the case. You aren’t a member until you explicitly request an application and pay the initiation fee.
  • Accumulating Days – If you are on Overflow, your goal is to obtain thirty days of work experience through either a contract production, or by volunteering in the Outreach Program. Note that, if earning days as an Outreach volunteer, each day counts for less than one ‘Day of Experience.’
  • Request Your Membership Application – When your Days of Experience count rises to 30 or more, an option will appear on your profile to request an application from us in order to complete the process of joining the union.
  • If you were sent an application, then we are awaiting the return of that application with your initiation fee.

Simply send clear, complete copies of your pay stubs to and we’ll send an application to your address of record.

If you were not already on the Overflow List, please register for an Overflow account so we can get your information.


No, you may not. Restricted pages are only for members and those actively reinstating.

No. You only owe work dues when you work in a covered craft on a contract production.

While you are a member for life, failure on the part of any member to pay any financial obligation to this Local within sixty days after same became payable shall result in such member being automatically declared not in good standing.

If such default continues for a period of more than six months from the date that the financial obligation first became payable, the member shall be sent a certified letter stating that he or she has ten days to clear his or her financial debt. This certified letter shall be sent to the last known address for the member and shall include a detailed statement of all monies owed and the dates on which they became payable. Should the member fail to respond and/or clear his or her obligation in the time allotted, the member shall be deemed automatically expelled unless they have been granted an extension of time to pay by vote of the Executive Board.

For the same reason that we often don’t have enough information to bill you for work dues, we also don’t get the info we’d need to verify who worked on which show. Even when we do get all the info we need from the production, it usually comes far after the show has wrapped. Members usually want to list a credit on their profile much sooner than we are able to, which means you usually beat us to the punch anyway.

Since we can’t say that someone definitely didn’t work on a particular show, we don’t attempt to vet the credits that members enter.

See Also:

Someone is claiming a credit on a production, but I was the one filling that position on that show. Can I contest their credit in any way?

Category: Member Features

In the majority of cases, your letters of recommendation do not need to come from union members; they can be from any source of your choosing.

But, when applying for membership under some special circumstances, one of your letters may need to come from a union member. You will be alerted if this is required of you.

No. Members of Local 480 are only allowed to hire off the Overflow list when all of the members in the needed craft are working or unavailable. The person doing the hiring must have permission to do so from the Business Agent. Overflow job blasts can be very few and far-between, especially during slower periods, like the colder months. We don’t recommend quitting your day-job.

Category: Overflow List

Yes. You can purchase all four quarters for $300 if you do so by January 31, which is a 25% discount.

Category: Members

You can find a list right here.

Categories: Benefits, Members

Absolutely. The union will grant a Medical Discount to members who aren’t able to work because of a medical issue. Contact the office manager for more information.

Categories: Benefits, Members

People who have been expelled are not permitted to work in our jurisdiction.

No. Your letters may come from anyone.

Yes, when we say “anyone,” we literally mean anyone.

You most likely received an invoice because you are new to the local and have not been a member long enough to qualify for our credits/rebate program.

If you have questions about your membership, it’s always best to contact the office as your friends may not have the most up-to-date information about our policies.

IATSE Local 480 covers a specific list of common, below-the-line crafts within the film and television industry. We are able to cover these crafts because jurisdiction over them was granted to us by our parent organization, the IATSE International Alliance (IA). If what you do isn’t on the list of covered crafts, then we don’t have the authority to represent you.

There are a great many crafts on a set that aren’t covered by Local 480. Some aren’t covered by an IATSE contract. And some, like Production Assistant (PA), aren’t covered by any union at all.

Similar NM Union Locals in Which You May be Interested:

IATSE Local 423 Stagehands — For back-stage workers in theater, concert, and other live entertainment.

SAG/AFTRA NM — Actors and Background

Teamsters Local 492 — For anyone whose job is driving.

Also see FAQ: What is “the International?”

Any questions about work/working conditions/paychecks should be directed to the Business Agent, Jon Hendry. Click here to send him an e-mail.

Categories: Members, Overflow List

Being on the Overflow List is not an automatic, guaranteed, “I can start working” status.

IF a production cannot fill its job list from union members, and IF the production has permission from Local 480’s Business Agent, then the production will be given access to the list of people on Overflow or an email blast will be sent to the Overflow List, thereby increasing the possibility that some people on the Overflow List might be hired. However, this situation does not occur very often, so working yourself into a panic because you’ve got to get on the Overflow List now!!! because you need to start working!!! is pointless. Once you are on the Overflow List, getting hired onto contract productions can take months (or more).

Category: Overflow List


Send us proof that you got paid in the craft in question with official documentation, or payroll documentation and we’ll take a look at whether we can fix the issue. We won’t always be able to resolve disputes like these, but we’ll see what we can do.

Category: Members

All of the responsibilities are outlined in your steward book.

Category: Members

We allow members to request to go by a different name than their legal one. To request an alternate name, use the Request Alternate Name form.

See Also:

I can’t find my buddy – or she can’t find me – on the roster.

In order to transfer your membership to another IATSE local, you must:

  1. Not owe any money to the Local.
  2. Send a written request to, asking that a transfer card be sent to the local you wish to transfer to. Be sure to list the local, along with its mailing address.

Your acceptance into any other local is based entirely on their requirements. And, remember that you are a member of Local 480 and responsible for quarterly dues until your transfer is completed.

The only thing to tell them is to go to the web site. Everything they need to know is there. The whole process is done online, so calling or stopping by the office will not help them.


If you are or were a member of the armed services, e-mail the membership coordinator with this information after you are on the Overflow List.

The 4% work dues are part of the Union contract. Working under the contract does not make you a member; submitting 30 days of pay stubs, filling out an application, and returning it with your Initiation Fee are the steps to take to become a member of the Local.

Everyone, regardless of membership status, should have work dues deducted from their paycheck;. Even if they are not deducted every week you work, you will still owe these dues and will be billed for them after the show wraps. And, you will have to pay any outstanding invoices before your application can be sent to the IA for endorsement.

Category: Overflow List

As a good union brother/sister, you  pay attention to your membership. This means:

  1. Logging in to the website to update your information if your e-mail, phone number, or address changes.
  2. Checking your e-mail regularly.
  3. Paying invoices when they are e-mailed to you.
  4. Letting your business agent know when you are working on non-union productions (as a courtesy).
  5. Hiring union brothers/sisters.
  6. Keeping all of your pay stubs – you’ll use them for unemployment and tax purposes.
  7. Being respectful on social media.
  8. Abiding by Non-Disclosure/Media Blackout rules. Posting a production’s intellectual property is a crime.

Credtis and stamps are the same thing as quarterly dues.

Category: Members

What follows are the steps for reinstating from expulsion:

  1. Register an account at
  2. We send a letter to the IA in New York, asking permission to reinstate you and how much is owed in back dues.
  3. You pay at least 1/2 of  the amount owed at expulsion + intervening back dues + a  reinstatement fee of $200. Local 480 caps back dues at $800. The IA has no cap – you owe them all back dues from the time of expulsion. You will  then be made active on our roster and become eligible to work in 480’s jurisdiction.

When you pay off the entire balance, you will be put on the ballot at the next membership meeting to be voted in. We then send a check to the IA and they send back a member card for you.

If you do not complete the process in 6 months, and have not entered into a payment plan with 480’s secretary/treasurer to extend this time frame, you will be removed from the reinstatement roster and no longer eligible to work in 480’s jurisdiction.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

In your profile, under “membership,” the first field shows your Local 480 status. The data here represents your internal status at the Local 480 union office. No one can see this status except you and the office staff.

Breakdown of Each Possible Status and its Meaning:

A member of IATSE Local 480 that enjoys the full benefits of membership.

An applicant has met the requirements of membership and we have sent their data to the International. For almost every purpose, an applicant should be considered a member of the union. Applicant is a transient status, only lasting until we receive the official union card for the new member.

Reinstating Withdrawal
A member who has ended their Honorable Withdrawal and is working to reinstate as a member.

Reinstating Expulsion
A member who had previously been expelled, but is now making an effort to reinstate their membership.

Honorable Withdrawal
A withdrawn member has asked us to place their membership on a temporary hold.

A person with the status of “expelled” does not presently enjoy any benefits of membership and does not appear on the roster. Most often, this is because of dues payments in arrears.

A person who has transferred to a different studio mechanics local. While they may still be a member of IATSE, they are no longer a member of Local 480.

Distant Hire
Usually, these are folks who are consistently and legitimately “hired-and-transported” from LA to work within our jurisdiction.

Local Non-Member
A person who works in our jurisdiction in covered crafts, but hasn’t made an effort to join Local 480.

A person who has met the basic requirements needed to be listed on the Overflow List. Not a member of the union.

Aspiring to Overflow
Someone who has expressed an interest in getting onto the Overflow List. Not a member of the union.

Office Staff
A member of the staff team at the Local 480 union office and an administrator on this website.
Union Membership: None

A member of the Outreach team. Not a union member.

An account that can only view the roster for the purposes of hiring.

When you work less than 16 days on a show, you are considered a “Day-Player.”

Day players don’t receive the same type of credit that those on the regular crew receive. If you worked in the same craft on a production in non-consecutive days for up to 15 they should be entered as a cumulative total number of days work.

Also see:

What is a “Regular Credit?”

Category: Members

After working 16 or more days on a production, you are considered part of the regular crew and thus get a “regular credit” on the show.

Also see:

What is “Day Playing?”

Category: Members

One of the benefits of being a steward is that we reimburse you any 4% work dues that are withheld on a production while you are serving as steward on that production. If work dues are not withheld for any weeks you are steward, you will not be billed for those unwithheld work dues. In addition, we will credit you one quarter’s work of quarterly dues (a $100 credit) for every quarter in which you serve as steward for 10 or more days.

However, YOU MUST REQUEST THIS REIMBURSEMENT.  Within 30 days after your work as steward ends, you must send to the 480 office a copy of the first and last paystub for when you were steward. You may email, snail mail, fax, or deliver copies of your stubs.

If you do not send in your paystubs within 30 days, you will not be reimbursed for any work dues withheld, you may be billed for unwithheld work dues, and you will not be given any credits on account.

Category: Members

When you hear someone mention “the International,” they are referring to the IATSE International Alliance (IA), which is the parent organization of all of the IATSE locals. Each local represents members in their jurisdiction while the IA oversees all of the locals.

Category: Members

NBFO stands for National Benefit Funds Office.

This is the organization which administers benefits through the other organizations which actually provide them, such as Empire Blue Cross, Delta Dental, Davis Vision, and Wells Fargo. As an IATSE member, this is the organization you’ll work with for anything relating to your benefits.

Phone: (800) 456-3863

Categories: Benefits, Members

The Local 480 membership has adopted a policy where members will get back some portion of the work dues (4%s) they pay in each year. To qualify for the program, a member must have no outstanding financial obligation to the Local as of November 30 of each year. The total work dues paid in by the member during the preceding 12 months (or after a new member joined, if less than 12 months) determine the amount returned. For 2016, every $75 of work dues paid in entitles the member to one quarterly stamp for 2017. Once the total paid in during the preceding 12 months exceeds $1750, the qualifying member will receive a check rebate for the amount of work dues paid in over $1750 (to a maximum rebate of $1000). Then, the total of work dues paid in for each member is then evaluated, and every qualifying member will receive an additional rebate if the percentage of work dues paid in exceeds 3% of total earnings for the preceding 12 months, after the quarterly dues stamp credits and the initial rebate are accounted for.

The membership decides on the policy for the next year each September, and ratifies the policy late in the year just prior to the calculation of stamps/rebates. The Local 480 office staff then prepares a letter and statement for each member detailing how that member’s account was calculated, and mails the next year’s membership card (with stamps affixed if earned) and a check rebate (if earned) to each member shortly before Christmas each year.

The program for each year is outlined in the January newsletter and again later in the year, and several emails will be sent to the membership explaining the program and the requirements to qualify. Please contact the Local 480 office if you have specific questions about the program, as it can vary from year to year.

Local 480 requires a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License to become a member.

Please check your New Mexico Driver’s License against the following requirements to make sure that it works for us.

Requirements for your current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License:

  • MUST be a Driver’s License.
  • MUST be a New Mexico Driver’s License.
  • MUST be a current, valid New Mexico Driver’s License.

Some things that are NOT your current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License and therefore will not work whatsoever:

  • A state ID card.
  • A license from a state that is not New Mexico.
  • An expired New Mexico Driver’s License.

There isn’t a person who can break this rule. In other words, there has never been and there never will be an exception to this rule.

All user registrations submitted with anything other than a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License will be deleted. You will be notified and you will have to re-submit your registration with a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License.

Production information is available to Members only. Once logged in, all members have access to that information.

The only thing you should tell them is to go to our web site, Whether they are new to the business, transferring in, dual-carding, or reinstating, all of their questions can be answered on our site.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

Interest-free loans up to $1,000 are available to members in good standing (owing less than $100 for fewer than 60 days) who have been a member for at least one year. Contact the office for details and an application.

If you are sick or injured and are not working, you may qualify for a medical discount for your quarterly dues. Contact the office manager for details at

Local 480’s current Secretary Treasurer will enter into payment arrangements with any member who cannot pay his/her balance with the Local in full. If the member complies with the terms of the payment plan, the Local will not add any late fees to the member’s account and the member will not be at risk of expulsion.

The Local will reimburse any member up to $50/year for the purchase of apparel or other gear with the Local’s logo on it. You can take your own gear to Santa Fe Sports and Images and have them put our logo on it.


Categories: Benefits, Members

The e-mail address that you provided to us is your username for this website.

Union Days — A way to fulfill our requirement for membership.

A requirement to be eligible to join the union. If you have thirty days in a covered craft on a contract production and have registered for an overflow account, we’ll give you an application. ‘Union Days‘ are intended to be a method of showing that you have at least a minimal amount of experience working on set and at least a cursory understanding of the process involved in getting yourself hired.

Volunteer Hours — The only portion of the initiation fee that can be paid over time. Only owed after becoming a member.

Volunteer Hours are technically a part of the initiation fee, owed after joining the union (if you joined before 1/1/18). They’re the only part of the initiation fee that may be paid off over a period of time. You’ll have two years in order to complete eight hours of volunteer time. If the time is not put-in during that initial two-year period, your Local 480 account will be billed for any uncompleted hours at the ‘journeyman’ rate. Volunteer opportunities are often advertised to the membership through e-mail blasts, but we’ll also accept volunteer hours you’ve done for charitable organizations (with proof of the hours). If you joined the local any time after 1/1/18, your Local 480 account will be credited up to 8 hours at the ‘journeyman’ rate if you volunteer within one year of your initiation date.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

Local 480 is slowly transitioning to a new web platform and this training and this new-member site is the first step of that process. You’ll see lots more changes and new features in the coming months.

Members of the Local will still use This site is currently only for non-members.

With our new, streamlined website, the two required classes are available online at no charge.

Once your Overflow registration is verified, log back in using the user name and password that you created and you can take the classes.

General Membership meetings are typically held the 3rd Sunday of each month and switch back and forth between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If the meeting dates change, members are notified via the newsletter, on the web site, and with e-mail blasts. While not guaranteed, meeting are usually not held in June or July.

Category: Members

Your rebate check (if you are eligible to receive one), along with your year-end letter, statement, work dues information, and next year’s membership card and generally available for pickup after the December membership meeting. You can also come into the office for pickup the Monday and Tuesday following the meeting. Any packets left are mailed out to your address of record on Wednesday.

Numerous e-mails are sent out providing details and times.

Do not call the office to ask; it will only impede the process.

Categories: Benefits, Members

If you are interested in borrowing tables, chairs, equipment, or using the CPJ, send an e-mail to

This depends on your current status.

These four statuses see each other as “Member,” regardless of the specific status to which each person belongs: “Member,” “Applicant,” “Reinstating Expulsion,” and “Reinstating Withdrawal.” “Retired” members also see other users in these statuses as “Member,” but they are seen as “Retired.”

These statuses aren’t visible to anyone and cannot themselves see other users: “Overflow,” “Aspiring to Overflow,” “Expelled,” “Honorable Withdrawal.”

These statuses are essentially only for internal records. Accounts of these types cannot log-in. “Transfer-Out,” “Distant Hire,” “Local Non-Member,” and “Deceased.”

Local 480 won’t advertise statuses such as “Expelled” or “Honorably Withdrawn” to other members of the union. If your status is such that you do not appear on the roster, you simply will not appear to other members on the site.

Office Staff are always visible to everyone.


Your official employer is the payroll company. They produce your paychecks and send out your W-2’s. And, upon request, they can send you a payroll report that shows all of your employment info under that company.

Local 480 requires that you show you’ve got experience in the crafts in which we list you. To see proof of that, we require members to provide paystubs showing 16 or more days working in the craft to be listed on two contract productions.

Also see:

What is a “Regular Credit?”

There’re a number of reasons this could be.

  1. It hasn’t yet been added by the office.
  2. It’s not actually a contract production.
  3. The production signed a contract after it had already begun shooting.
  4. It simply got missed.

If you think a contract production has been missed on our list, we provide a page where a production addition can be requested. Fill out the form on that page. We’ll review the information you’ve submitted and we’ll add it to the list if it’s an actual contract production.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the union office doesn’t have access to your paycheck or the details of your employment. Because of good protections to your identity and financial data, the union office does not actually get most of the details of your employment.

In fact, you would be surprised to see how little we are often given.

We have no avenue available to us to get this information. Essentially, we’re given one large check for all the dues paid-in on a production and a spreadsheet that shows how much is attributed to each member. And, because your 4% dues are not calculated on your gross wages, we can’t work backwards to see what a member earned, in total. Remember that you are ultimately responsible for paying these dues. The payroll company is not obligated to withhold 4% dues for you. They do this service as a courtesy to members. So, if the payroll company misses it on a week, don’t think of it so much as them dropping the ball. Instead, think of it as one week when they didn’t do your job for you.

But, there is a solution!

Take a quick look at the pay-stub attached to each paycheck you receive to see if 4% dues have been deducted. This literally takes one to two seconds per paycheck. If dues haven’t been withheld from a paycheck on a union-contract show, take a note of that. We won’t find out about the dues owed until the payroll company gets around to sending us the information. Typically, that’s significantly after a production has wrapped. But, you get that knowledge as soon as your check comes! If no dues were withheld from a paycheck, know that you are still responsible for paying those dues. You have two options at this point:

  • Calculate 4% of your gross income and proactively send a payment to the union office.
  • Wait until we finally get information about the production from the payroll company so we can invoice you.

So, if you choose to wait for the office to bill you once we have the information we need to do so, make sure that you’ve budgeted for that impending and oft-tardy invoice. Because it is definitely coming.

Category: Members

Loren Ipsum.

When information on your profile has to be approved by a Local 480 staff member, it can be for a few reasons:

  1. We are required to verify the information, such as when your name legally changes.
  2. We need to carry the change (typically demographic) over to another database, such as the IATSE International.
  3. We need to be notified when that information changes for some other reason.
  4. We reserve the right and ability to censor important portions of information in order to preserve a uniform and professional presentation of the union as a whole.

See also:

How does the approval of my profile information work?

Category: Profile

While there are a number of reasons a person might be expelled, the vast majority of people are expelled due to having an outstanding balance older than 90 days.

Here are a few other reasons a person might be expelled:

  • If they have a balance for a period longer than 90 days.
  • If they are the subject of a union trial, the outcome of which was not in their favor.

As you move through the membership process, your status changes according to where you are – from Aspirant to Overflow to Applicant to Member.

Once you are a member, your status depends (for the most part) on fulfilling your financial obligations. If you owe more than $150 for over 6 months, your status will change to Expelled and you will be removed from the Roster and not permitted to work in our jurisdiction. If you choose to transfer to another local or take an honorable withdrawal, your status will change to reflect those actions and you no longer be active on the Roster.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

Yes. Eventually.


Local 480 does not make expulsions public. If you are expelled, your name will not appear on the roster. If you are actively reinstating, your name will appear on the roster.