FAQ: Dispatch

IATSE Local 118’s dispatch is a service provided to our members and permittees. Our dispatchers are tasked with quickly and efficiently dispatching skilled workers to jobs around the lower mainland. The dispatch service is governed by local policy.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions about how our dispatch service functions.

19 Questions & Answers

CallSteward is the dispatching software the local uses, and a completely separate website from iatse118.com. It uses a separate login.  

CallSteward allows you to review your schedule, the master calendar, your skills list, and your personal availability.

Work is offered first to qualified members in good standing, in order of seniority, secondly to sister local members, thirdly to permittees. All work offers will come via text message.

Sometimes, you may be eligible for more than one position on a call. Our dispatchers will endeavor to offer you the position with the highest rate and longest hours. Typically, they will offer you show calls first, then load-ins/outs. They will start with head positions, then riggers, assistants, car loaders, and finally grips.

When you receive an offer via text, please respond promptly whether or not you’re interested. Our dispatchers will always respond in the affirmative if you’ve been confirmed for a call. As soon as the dispatcher confirms you, your employer can see your name on their callsheet. Until our dispatchers respond that you are confirmed for a job there is no guarantee of work.

If you’re uncertain, or would like more information about the job please ask! If you’re not interested in the call, say no and move on. Please only accept a job that you are capable of and available for.

Once you have accepted a call, our dispatchers will mark you as unavailable for the duration of that call and not offer you other work that overlaps. 

Response time depends on the amount of time before the call begins, and which agreement the call is under:

Civic Theatres, Live Nation, PNE, VSO, VOA, BBC, TUTS, Master Casual, and other
larger scale employers

More than a week out  Less than a week out Less than two days out
Three Hours One Hour  AS-AP

The Cultch, Arts Club, Gateway, GITD, Carousel, AESC, and other smaller scale

More than two weeks out More than a week out  Less than a week out Less than two days out
Two Hours One Hour Thirty Minutes  AS-AP

If you've missed the response timeframe but are still interested, it's always worth responding anyway. If the position isn't filled yet it is still available to you.

The local works in collaboration with our employers to develop lists of members qualified for certain jobs. Each venue or employer will have lists for heads of each department, assistants, and grips. These lists are what our dispatchers use to effectively dispatch qualified workers. 

You can view your current skills on CallSteward by navigating to “My Profile”.

ASAP job offers are given to the quickest qualified responder. These calls usually go out when a last-minute position is added, or when a member must cancel a call for unexpected reasons.

When you get an ASAP offer, please respond promptly, mention how long it would take you to get to work, and await confirmation.

A “Might get to you” means that there are only a couple of members on the list before you. If you indicate that you’re interested in the call, you’ll hear back from dispatch within several hours with an update. This practice allows our dispatcher to work through call lists much faster, getting you potential work offers with much more notice.

When you receive a “Might get to you”, you have the same amount of time to respond as if you had received an actual offer – up to three hours, depending on the date of the call.

Our dispatchers will endeavor to offer you the position with the highest rate and longest hours, however sometimes there may be other available positions on the call. Say you’re offered “High Rigger, or any other open position” and are available, but not interested in rigging. In this case, please ask the dispatcher what else is available. Perhaps you’ve been offered Head Carpenter, but would actually prefer to be a grip electrician. This is your opportunity to make your preferences known. If you want an idea of what else might be available, please check CallSteward.

Please note, we consider offering “or other open positions” an official offer of every other available position on the call.

Send an email to dispatch@iaste118.com, and explain your concerns politely. Our dispatchers will do their best to address your concerns promptly. 

Please also CC executive@iatse118.com, as sometimes issues are most efficiently dealt with by the board.

By the nature of our industry, all calls are subject to schedule changes. At any point during or before a call, the amount of work may fluctuate. Please carefully read any updates dispatch sends you in advance, and refer to your crew chief once you’re on the job. Be aware, any job may run long or be cut short.

On rare occasions, a position or entire call may be canceled. This is normally due to things beyond our control, like technical difficulties or changes on the production’s end, shipping logistics, etc. Depending on the agreement you are working under, you may be eligible for a 4 hour minimum if the cancellation was made less than 24 (or sometimes 16) hours before the start of the call.

If your call is canceled, our dispatchers will immediately mark you available for any other work that may come up.

You can cancel a confirmed call until one week before the beginning of the call. If you cancel with less than a week's notice, you're deemed unavailable for the duration of the cancelled call. If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice, in addition to the duration of the canceled call, you are deemed unavailable for a period of 24 hours beginning at the start of the canceled call.

If you need to cancel your call due to an accident, illness, a childcare cancellation, or other emergency please give our dispatchers as much notice as possible. 

If you cancel a call for these reasons with less than 24 hours notice, please let our dispatchers and your employer know. Your employers contact information is available on Call Steward under the call's page.

Yes! A Worker may request to change from a confirmed Call to a Call not yet filled if:

    1. They are eligible for the Call as per the Calling Procedure listed above
    2. They have not previously declined this Call except in the event of a recall. 
    3. The vacated Call is not within the AS-AP timeframe, unless the requested Call was listed 24 hours or less before the change was requested.

A Worker changing from one Call to another waives any claim to their original Call.

A worker failing to arrive for a call without notifying dispatch or their employer, shall be considered a “no-show”.  The worker is expected to re-establish contact with Dispatch, and may provide a reason for their no-show. 

  1. After the first no-show in a 12 month period, the worker will be provided with a warning of the potential ramifications
  2. After the second time in a 12 month period, they will not be Offered the next individual Call for which they would otherwise be eligible.
  3. After the third time in a 12 month period, the next three Calls.
  4. After the fourth time, and each subsequent time in a 12 month period, the next seven Calls.

All communication regarding no-shows shall be between the worker and the Executive Board, not Dispatch. If a worker feels they've been unfairly treated, they can appeal the decision to the board or at a general meeting.

Yes! Go to https://login.callsteward.ca/#/login, and find the button ‘Edit User Profile’, navigate to ‘Availability & Vacation’. Here, you can add dates and times when you aren't available for work. Review the information you have submitted carefully, as you will not be called for work that takes place when you’re marked unavailable.

This is an extremely helpful thing to do, as it saves our dispatchers time, and you the hassle of unnecessary texts.

All the most current Collective Bargaining Agreements with our employers can be found on our website at https://iatse118.com/agreements

The dispatch policy, along with the rest of our policies can be found on our website after logging in at https://iatse118.com/policies

Go to https://login.callsteward.ca/#/login and sign in! Navigate to “My Profile”, and look under “Skillset”. Here, you’ll see all the lists you’ve been qualified for. If you would like to be added to other skill lists, email businessagent@iatse118.com. Some skill lists require validation from employers or references.