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SAG-AFTRA Pushes for Increased Stunt Safety

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA have taken several steps towards improving safety on production sets.

The union’s national board of directors announced Sunday that it had approved the creation of a “Stunt Coordinator Minimum General Standards Eligibility Process Guideline” during its two-day plenary on Oct. 20 and 21 in Los Angeles.

The program, set to launch in 2020, will permit prospective stunt coordinators to apply for inclusion on SAG-AFTRA’s online registry after demonstrating that they have completed 500 working days. The program also includes a volunteer mentoring program and an apprentice coordinator program.

SAG-AFTRA also announced that President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White are also scheduling meetings with stunt coordinators to discuss safety issues.

Carteris said, “The development of the Stunt Coordinator Minimum General Standards Eligibility Process Guideline is a landmark achievement that will enhance skills training and ultimately help employers ensure set safety.”

SAG-AFTRA board also approved the tentative successor three-year deals for the master contracts in television animation and sound recordings, triggering ratification votes by the membership.

If ratified, the TV animation contract will see wage increases and benefit contribution rate improvements on par with the gains achieved in live action negotiations: A 2.5% increase to minimums and .5% increase in the contribution rate to the SAG-Producers Pension Plan and AFTRA Retirement Fund in the first and second years and a 3% increase to minimums in the third year. The new deal will continue through June 30, 2020.

Ratification of the sound recording contract will increase minimum wages by 3% on Jan. 1, 2019 and 2020 and 2.5% on Dec. 31, 2020; increase health and retirement contributions to 13% effective July 1, 2019. It will also increase the portion of streaming payments subject to health and retirement contributions from 15% to 50%.

The new sound recording agreement is retroactive effective Jan. 1, 2018, and expires Dec. 31, 2020. The major record labels covered by the agreement include Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group Recordings, Capitol Records, and Hollywood Records (Disney).

SAG-AFTRA has about 160,000 members.

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