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SAG-AFTRA Board Approves Deals on Non-Primetime TV, Telemundo

The SAG-AFTRA National Board has approved a tentative, three-year agreement covering non-primetime work with the four major television networks.

The board, which met on Saturday, also signed off on a first-ever agreement with Telemundo Television Studios for Spanish-language TV performers.

The non-primetime deal with the networks includes language limiting auditions in hotel rooms and private residences. Those limits are part of the initiative announced earlier this year by SAG-AFTRA leaders in response to the industry’s sexual harassment scandals that came to light in October with the revelations about disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. It’s the first time the union has included those specific provisions in a master contract.

The non-primetime contract is officially called the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting (Network Television Code), and covers work on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. It includes nearly all daytime television, as well as programming produced for digital media, morning news shows, talk shows, soap operas, variety, reality, contest, sports, and promotional announcements.

It generates about $200 million in annual earnings and covers such shows as “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Price Is Right,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Dancing With the Stars.” The board approved the deal with 79% voting in favor, triggering a ratification vote among the union’s 160,000 members that will begin on July 26 with an Aug. 16 deadline for votes to be submitted.

SAG-AFTRA said the new deal — which will go into effect retroactively to July 1, if ratified — includes an 8.7% overall wage increase to most program fees, implemented through increases of 2.5% the first year, 3% the second year, and 3% the third year. The agreement also significantly improves funding of the AFTRA Retirement Fund.

The Telemundo deal was reached on July 12 following 15 months of negotiations. It includes contributions to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan and SAG-Producers Pension Plan for the first time; residuals for both foreign and domestic exploitation and streaming platforms, based on a percentage of Telemundo’s gross receipts; first-ever guaranteed minimum rates for all covered performer categories; annual increases in all newly-established minimums; and newly established working conditions and safety protections.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “I want to thank the board for its unanimous approval of the Telemundo agreement. This first contract creates a solid foundation from which to build and speaks to the fact that we all deserve strong protections and respect.”

“I’m also gratified by the board’s approval and recommendation of a ‘yes’ vote on the Network Television Code,” Carteris added. “This agreement reflects $200 million in member earnings across nearly all television day parts. This contract is SAG-AFTRA’s first major agreement to include language regarding sexual harassment — a movement towards true systemic change.”

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