Three-year pact backed by 96 percent

Members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have ratiified a three-year successor agreement to the union’s network code master contract.

Deal covers work outside primetime series for the four major television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and other producers. Of those voting, 96 percent endorsed the deal.

AFTRA announced the ratification Wednesday night. Union said it had achieved its primary objective in this negotiation: a 1% increase in employer contributions to the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds upon ratification, which will bring the total H&R contribution rate to 16.5%.

The three-year agreement will run retroactively from Nov. 16, 2011, through Nov. 15, 2014.

Deal mirrors the gains in recent negotiations for master contracts by the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America.

AFTRA said other highlights include:

• Increased wages by 6% over the term of the agreement (2% each year) for most categories

• Increase minimum hazard pay for dancers from $80 to $100 per day, and from $100 to $125 per program

• The $37.50 overtime rate for singers will be paid starting at the 7th instead of the 9th hour

• Increase the minimum work day for stand-ins who work on primetime variety and award shows, which will increase the minimum daily rate by 20% to 67%

Negotiations began on Nov. 7.

AFTRA and SAG members are being asked to OK a merger with ballots going out next week.

Current programs covered by this contract include: “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Price Is Right,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Jeopardy,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Voice,” “Amazing Race,” “Deal or No Deal,” “The Tonight Show” and “American Idol.”

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