Contract ratification ballots sent to SAG and AFTRA members in the last few days include for the first time a report urging a “no” vote on the proposed new contract with producers.
The hierarchy of the two actors’ unions — the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists — was torn as to whether to allow members to see the report, which spells out the views of the 30% of officers and board members who voted against the agreement.
The report’s writers complain that the pact offers no change in cable and foreign residuals. “Instead you get a study the producers wanted, rather than real money now,” the report says, referring to a two-year probe of residuals agreed to by both sides.
The report also complained that the 3.5% increase in residual payments to actors over three years is “only a cost-of-living adjustment.”
Other points of contention include the fact that, despite a 20% increase in Fox residuals, the net “still pays 33% less than the other three networks.”
The package sent to members also says a majority of the actors’ negotiating team “voted to recommend this package as one of the richest overall deals we have ever made.”
It includes a 20% increase in most schedule breaks, recognition of dancers as principal performers in TV, improvements for stunt performers, and better protection for members when they work in Canada.
SAG/AFTRA members with questions about the contract may address guild leaders during a meeting Sunday in L.A. Members’ ratification votes must be cast by 5 p.m. on June 30.