In a contrast with its brutal internal battles, SAG has quietly set a start date on Feb. 23 for launching joint negotiations with American Federation of Television & Radio Artists on a new contract with the ad industry.
The SAG-AFTRA contract with commercial producers, which has been extended twice, expires March 31.
The bargaining will mark a return to solidarity at the contract table for the two thesp unions, which battled each other publicly last year after negotiating separately with Hollywood’s majors on the feature-primetime contract. AFTRA members inked a new contract with the studios in July, while SAG has been mired in a months-long impasse.
SAG and AFTRA agreed last fall to resume joint bargaining on the ad pact as part of signing of a non-disparagement agreement supervised by the AFL-CIO that includes the deposit of $2 million by each union to be paid out in fines for violations.
The unions’ contract proposal package will be presented for approval at a joint plenary meeting on Feb. 7.
The unions and the ad industry had agreed in 2006 to a two-year extension of the contract in order to allow Booz Allen Hamilton to conduct an independent study about changing revenue models in the ad biz due to the impact of new media. That contract was extended again last August.