Actors start work on ad contract planning

SAG-AFTRA set first meeting for Tuesday

SAG-AFTRA will hold its first member meetings this week to formulate proposals for its commercials contract — which covers about $1 billion in annual work and expires March 31.

The first “educational” meeting takes place Tuesday at union headquarters in Los Angeles, followed by a Wednesday night confab at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Los Angeles. The union has also set an Aug. 23 meeting for Chicago and a webinar for Sept. 5.

Formal “wages and working conditions” meetings — during which members submit proposals — will be scheduled to begin after Sept. 10. No date has been set yet for the start of negotiations for a successor agreement to the current commercials contracts.

The unions and the ad industry are in the final eight months of a one-year extension to the three-year deal reached in 2009. SAG and AFTRA sought and received the extension last summer in order to focus their efforts on merging the unions, which was approved by union members on March 30.

Key gains in the current commercials contract included a payment structure for work made for and moved over to the Internet and other new-media platforms along with maintaining the method of pay-per-play payment for ads run on network.

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