Producers paid union $34.2 million in claims

The Screen Actors Guild announced Tuesday that producers paid $34.22 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 in fines and claims for contract violations, representing a slight decline of 0.5% from the previous year.

SAG also reported that the number of claims decreased by nearly 20% to 40,778, meaning the average amount paid per claim rose from $669 to $839. The amount of fines declined slightly from $862,318 to $850,884.

“Because of the decision by the guild’s national board of directors to hire more contract enforcement staff over the past few years, we cleared out a huge backlog of member claims cases that had built up,” said SAG national executive director Ken Orsatti. “In 1999, we were able to focus our efforts on increasing the dollar size of the claims we filed.”

SAG president William Daniels said, “SAG members should be pleased that these cases are now being handled more quickly than ever before and are being settled for more money than ever before.”

Of SAG’s 23 offices, Hollywood’s took by far the largest share of claims handled, with $23.1 million paid out. New York’s office followed with $6.3 million.

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