Monday, November 8, 2010
AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild Reach Tentative Agreement with AMPTP on New Television and Feature Film Contracts
The new three-year agreement is subject to approval by the Joint National Board of AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild, and ratification by the unions’ memberships. The current contracts expire on June 30, 2011, and the new three-year agreement will be effective from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014.
Highlights of the new tentative agreement include:
•The term of the agreement is 3 years commencing July 1, 2011
•A 6% wage increase over the term of the agreement with 2% in each of the three years, effective July 1, 2011, 2012 and 2013
•A 10% increase in the current rate of employer contributions paid to the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds and Screen Actors Guild Pension & Health Plans, bringing the total contribution rate to 16.5% effective July 1, 2011. This represents the largest dollar value increase to the plans, under these contracts, since the plans were founded and is the largest percentage increase to the plans in more than two decades
•Two additional background positions in theatrical and one additional background position in television in the Western Zones
•An expansion of major role provisions to apply to new pay television series commencing in their second season
•Expanded union coverage over made for new media productions
•Increases in the area of money and schedule breaks
•Improved contract language to increase equal employment opportunities for union performers.
The unions also agreed to modifications in the travel provisions of the contracts.
AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon said, “I am extremely pleased we met our goal of increasing contributions to our retirement and pension plans, and that we successfully completed this negotiation now to protect the needs of performers early in the process. I applaud AFTRA Chief Negotiator Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, and I thank Screen Actors Guild Co-Chair President Howard for his strong and supportive leadership. Our joint negotiating committee worked together seamlessly and in solidarity, and I am very proud of their work.”
Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard, said, “Strengthening the Pension and Health Plans was our top priority in these negotiations – making such a significant gain in that area was a vital achievement. Increased wages across the contract and the expansion of the major role premium into pay television will not only put more money in performers’ pockets, but will provide yet another boost to our P&H funds. I’m grateful to have worked closely with AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon and want to give special thanks to SAG Chief Negotiator David White and his bargaining team. All the staff and members of this joint committee, from both unions, deserve praise for their focus and dedication. We had to make some difficult decisions, but working together, we’ve reached a deal that will protect our essential pension and health benefits for years to come.”
Details of the new agreement will be submitted for approval to the Joint National Board of AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild. Upon approval, the pact will be sent out for joint ratification by the unions’ memberships.
Representatives of the following organizations attended one or more of the negotiating sessions as observers: Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Brotherhood of Teamsters,(IBT), American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
Formal negotiations between the 26-member Joint AFTRA-Screen Actors Guild Negotiating Committee and the AMPTP began on Monday, Sept. 27, in Los Angeles. Talks were preceded by months of joint wages and working conditions meetings held this past summer.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society.
Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com/.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital television programs, motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at http://www.sag.org/ .
Posted by Robert Daraio at 12:47 PM