SAG-AFTRA Board Gives David White New Four-Year Contract

The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved a new four-year deal for David White as national executive director.

The board approved the deal Sunday. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Howard has held the post since 2009, when he replaced Doug Allen, who had been fired from the position. White singled out Ken Howard, who was elected as SAG’s last president later that year and has continued as SAG-AFTRA president since the unions merged in 2012.

“This job presents new challenges every day and I am thrilled to continue in my role at SAG-AFTRA,” White said. “I want to thank President Howard, our elected officers and national board members for their confidence in me. It’s an honor to represent SAG-AFTRA members and I look forward to continuing the great work we have accomplished to date.”

In February, White’s name emerged as a candidate for a similar post with the National Basketball Players Assn. However, the players union opted in July to select Washington, D.C. attorney Michelle Roberts for the post.

White has been opposed by the self-styled progressives of the Membership First faction of elected leaders, but that group has seen its clout diminished since Allen was fired. He campaigned actively for the merger along with Howard, asserting that the combined union — which has about about 165,000 members — would have more clout and operate more effectively.

White was given a three-year contract extension in late 2011 and SAG-AFTRA’s LM-2 filing this year with the U.S. Dept. of Labor showed that White received a salary of $559,687 plus $25,395 in expenses for the fiscal year ended April 30.

“I’m so pleased that we were able to secure a long-term commitment from David,” Howard said. “He is a formidable strategic thinker and an outstanding executive. David is equally committed to wisely shepherding our operations and to ensuring good wages and safe working conditions for our members. We are lucky to have him and know we will continue to benefit from his leadership.”

The national board also unanimously ratified the recently negotiated SAG-AFTRA TV Animation Agreement and SAG-AFTRA Basic Cable Animation Agreement. The three-year agreements mirror the gains in the master contract for feature films and primetime TV and went into effect retroactively to July 1.

The deals include pay raises of 8.7% compounded over the next three years retroactive to Oct. 1.

The board unanimously approved proposals for the upcoming Network Television Code negotiations, which covers syndicated dramatic programs, daytime serials, promotional announcements, variety, quiz, game, reality, talk, news, sports and other non-dramatic programs.

The proposal package is confidential and will not be released, the union said.

Howard will chair the contracts negotiations and White will serve as the union’s chief negotiator. Negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are scheduled to commence on Nov. 3 at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks. The current contract expires Nov. 15.

The union also disclosed that it had issued a “Do Not Work” notice for the Esquire Network program “The Getaway.”




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