Inside Move: SAG hits snag

Guild questions studio data

When will SAG get to the bargaining table? That’s still quite unclear.

The readiness of the Screen Actors Guild to start full contract negotiations has become even murkier in recent days. SAG rep Greg Krizman said Thursday new difficulties in making that determination have emerged because studios and networks have not delivered complete data from the final version of their residuals study over the past month.

“We have questions about what they have sent us and its completeness,” Krizman said, adding that recent problems in interpreting the data from the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers makes it impossible for SAG to commit to a date for starting talks on all portions of a new film-TV contract, which expires June 30.

“The incomplete data has left us in a mushy position,” Krizman said.

The AMPTP maintained that the data is complete and that it has been ready since late October to begin talks with SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. The unions began hammering on the issue in November and December, when they noted the report had not been delivered on time and that they would need several more months to analyze the data once they received it.

SAG and AFTRA negotiated access to the residuals data, which break out financial stats on yearly performance by individual TV shows, as part of their 1998 film-TV contract. Union leaders have continued to say since then that partial negotiations could start as early as late February or early March, but only on issues not related to residuals.

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