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AFTRA toppers OK net pact

Code covers about $400 million in work annually

HOLLYWOOD — Leaders of AFTRA have endorsed a three-year deal with the television networks on a new contract to cover its broadcast members with hikes in health care and retirement contributions by employers.

AFTRA’s national board OK’d the pact Saturday, triggering a ratification vote by the union’s 80,000 members. Ballots will be mailed out after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Negotiators for AFTRA and the networks reached agreement on the net code pact on Oct. 29 after three weeks of negotiations. The net code covers about $400 million in work annually; AFTRA leaders had stressed the importance of hiking the health plan contributions in order to counteract soaring costs to the plan, which has been forced in recent years to cut benefits.

The next round of Hollywood labor negotiations will cover the film-TV contract for SAG and AFTRA, which expires June 30 and covers primetime series work. Those talks are expected to begin next month but no date has been set.

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