×

SAG-AFTRA Targets Spring for AMPTP Contract Talks

Union chief Ken Howard to serve as chief of negotiating committee

SAG-AFTRA is planning to launch its master contract talks with the studios in the spring. The union has set its first official step with the “wages and working conditions” meetings dated for Jan. 27 and March 14.

The union has not set a timetable for its negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a successor deal to its contract covering features and primetime TV. That deal expires June 30.

The AMPTP had no comment.

SAG-AFTRA announced Tuesday following a two-day national board meeting that SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard was named national chair of the negotiating committee, which will begin its work as the TV/Theatrical Contracts Wages and Working Conditions Plenary Committee.

Howard had already disclosed in June that negotiations would not start until 2014.

The current master contract for the Directors Guild of America also expires June 30 and the Writers Guild of America deal runs out on May 1. No negotiations have been set for either of those contracts either.

The DGA, which named Michael Apted and Thomas Schlamme as its negotiating committee co-chairs in February, has usually gone first in recent negotiation cycles.

The “wages and working conditions” process is mandated by the SAG-AFTRA constitution. It’s designed to enable the committee to formulate a contract proposal, based on guidance from members.

The negotiation is the first covering features and primetime since members of SAG and AFTRA voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger in March 2012. Merger proponents campaigned for the combo on the grounds that the combined performers union would have more clout at the bargaining table.

The new union reps about 165,000 performers.

SAG-AFTRA reached a new three-year deal in April on its commercials contract with the advertising industry, calling for a 6% wage hike and for Pension and Health contributions to increase from 15.5% to 16.8%. The contract, which currently covers about $1 billion in annual earnings, will see increases in payments of $238 million over its term.

Prior to the negotiations, the union held the required “wages and working conditions” meetings with members to formulate its proposal but made no subsequent efforts to mobilize the members about the issues — a sharp contrast with efforts in 2000, when SAG and AFTRA struck for six months against the ad industry.

More Film

  • Ennio The Maestro

    Wong Kar-wai’s Block 2 to Sell Giuseppe Tornatore’s ‘Ennio: The Maestro’

    Block 2 Distribution, the sales arm of Wong Kar-wai’s Jet Tone Films will handle international rights to “Ennio: The Maestro.” The film is an upcoming documentary about legendary film musician Ennio Morricone, written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Morricone, who is 91, has more than 500 movie credits to this name including scores for Sergio [...]

  • José

    'José': Film Review

    It has been a year and a half since director Li Cheng’s “José” won the Venice Film Festival’s Queer Lion. It would be a shame to let the lag time diminish expectations. After a LGBTQ fest run, the Spanish-language drama — about a young gay man in Guatemala — has opened theatrically and continues to [...]

  • The Cost of Silence

    'The Cost of Silence': Film Review

    A decade has passed since 2010’s Deepwater Horizon tragedy, history’s most catastrophic oil drilling accident that occurred when a BP-operated pipe exploded, leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. There was no successful intervention for months, and time hasn’t healed all wounds. On the contrary, it opened new, irreversible ones as [...]

  • Nardjes A.

    ‘Invisible Life’s’ Karim Ainouz Drops Trailer for 'Nardjes A.’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    On Feb. 14 last year, Karim Aïnouz arrived in Algeria to trace via the story of his parents the Algerian Revolution which happened 60 years ago – its 1954-62 War of Independence from France. The uprising he very quickly started to shoot, however, was one happening right then, the Revolution of Smiles, whose first street [...]

  • Call of the Wild

    Harrison Ford in 'The Call of the Wild': Film Review

    Dogs, in their rambunctious domesticated way, can lead us overly civilized humans a step or two closer to the natural world. So it’s only fitting that the best dog movies have saluted that unruly canine spirit without a lot of artificial flavoring. Hollywood’s classic dog tales, like “Old Yeller” (1957) or “Lassie Come Home” (1943), [...]

  • Adventures of a Mathematician

    Indie Sales Unveils Trailer For 'Adventures of a Mathematician' (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the run up to Berlin’s European Film Market, Indie Sales has unveiled the trailer for Thor Klein’s “Adventures of a Mathematician” which had its world premiere in Palm Springs. The film tells the inspiring true story of a Polish-Jewish mathematician who got a fellowship at Harvard and went on to join the prestigious Manhattan [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content