news 5 days ago

SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Sending Successor Deal to Members for Ratification

Variety — Dave McNary

SAG-AFTRA’s national board has approved sending out its successor film-television contract for ratification by its 160,000 members.

The board approved the tentative three-year deal, which was announced on June 11, by a vote of 67.6% to 32.4%. The vote was announced Monday night. Members will be mailed instructions on how to cast ballots on July 1 with a July 22 deadline for voting by paper ballot or electronically.

The ballot sent to members will include a “minority report” that will detail opposition to the proposed contract — even though “no” votes were not enough to automatically trigger such a report.

When the deal was announced two weeks ago, union leadership said it would generate $318 million in pay increases for members during its three-year term.

SAG-AFTRA president and negotiating committee chair Gabrielle Carteris said, “I am thankful to the board for its approval and recommendation of this agreement. This deal represents the needs and interests of our members as they shared them with us during our national wages and working condition meetings held across the country. First and foremost, we achieved a 26% increase in streaming residuals. In addition, a terrific wage package and an outsized increase in SAG-AFTRA health plan contributions. I am confident that this future-focused agreement is the strong foundation we need to evolve with the significant changes in our industry and our employers’ business models.”

The current deal expires on July 1 but remains in effect during the member ratification process. To receive a ballot, a member will have to current on dues.

SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator David White said, “I am grateful to our negotiating committee and staff for their tireless and exceptional work on these once-in-a-generation negotiations. In voting to recommend approval of this forward-thinking agreement to our members, the board is helping to usher in a new era for how our members work and earn a living. We achieved unprecedented increases in residuals in the fastest-growing category, we secured ground-breaking protections for members in the areas of nudity, simulated sex and sexual harassment, and we strengthened our benefit plans.”

The contract talks opened on April 27 and concluded on June 10. The tentative deal includes a 26% increase in fixed streaming residuals over the first three years of availability for high-budget programs on subscription-based streaming platforms. The agreement also calls for employers to pay $97 million in additional funds to the pension and health plans, including $54 million to the health plan.

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