Sound recordings contract extended

AFTRA deal provides increases for session singers

Leaders of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have approved a one-year extension of AFTRA’s sound recordings contract to June 30, 2007.

AFTRA’s national board OKd the extension, which provides increases in wages and benefits for session singers, during their weekend confab via teleconference in Los Angeles and New York. The union’s tentative plans are for talks to begin later this year to allow sufficient time to negotiate issues including wages, benefits and the impact of new technologies.

“This extension gives AFTRA royalty and feature artists, session singers, and audio book narrators the opportunity to make sure their voices are heard by the recording labels as a new code is negotiated in a complex environment,” said Randall Himes, national assistant exec director for sound recordings.

AFTRA leaders also endorsed participation in the AFL-CIO Arts, Entertainment and Media Industry Coordinating Committee by adopting a set of principles to develop joint organizing and collective bargaining plans.

The board also established a regional group and Spanish language group to develop organizing plans; approved guidelines for contracts covering content made directly for electronic platforms such as iPods, Internet, mobile phones and other devices; adopted a combined budget of almost $26 million for the fiscal year beginning May 1; adopted a resolution condemning proposals by the Bush administration to criminally prosecute reporters under espionage laws; and endorsed exploring a possible joint study of compensation models for performers covered by the SAG-AFTRA commercials contract.

AFTRA’s national board will shrunken from 116 to 70 when it meets next on July 28 and 29.

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