SAG-AFTRA Board Approves Agreement With Producers

The National Board of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artist approved the tentative agreement on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The agreement averted a possible strike but must still be ratified by the union’s members. Member voting will take place between July 17 and August 7.

The board’s vote was 77.4% yes to 22.5 percent no.

The current contracts remain in effect during the member ratification process. The term of the new agreement is for three years effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020 and is retroactive upon ratification.

In the new pact, the union says it secured significant improvements in the residuals rate paid to performers for exhibition of their performances on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. Under the new terms, actors will receive residuals for exhibition on subscription video on-demand platforms earlier, now after 90 days instead of after one year. The new formula delivers a 300% increase in residuals to performers within their first two years when their work is exhibited worldwide on Netflix.

Background actors achieved many gains as well, including superior overtime rules for background actors working in the west coast zones, a higher minimum for photo doubles, a pay increase for work on shows for the CW as a result of applying the background schedules from the television contract and a new standard voucher form that will minimize the need for background actors to supply social security numbers, the union said..

SAG-AFTRA said it also got changes in the rules governing travel for television performers, including an up to five-fold increase in the fees due to series performers who work at locations away from home. The travel rules for television were also rationalized and clarified, closing many loopholes and ambiguities that have allowed for abuse.

“I am thankful to the board for its approval and recommendation of this agreement, and am delighted at what the negotiating team was able to achieve,” said Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA President and chair of the negotiating committee.

“ We have negotiated a forward-looking package with meaningful gains across our entire membership. This agreement would not have been possible without the members’ collective feedback and our comprehensive Wages and Working Conditions meetings. Together, we have achieved a comprehensive, modern agreement that lays the foundation for success for years to come. We established substantial compensation gains, especially in the expanding new media platforms and residuals,” Carteris said.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.