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SAG-AFTRA Reaches Contract Deal Covering Telemundo Performers

SAG-AFTRA has reached a first-ever tentative agreement with Telemundo Television Studios covering Spanish-language television performers on telenovelas.

The three-year contract comes after 15 months of negotiations that were launched following  a 91-21 vote by Telemundo performers to unionize on March 8, 2017.

The union announced Thursday that the key elements of the new three-year deal are: contributions to and participation in 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; guaranteed minimum rates for all covered performer categories (including actors, stunt performers, singers and dancers); and annual increases in all minimums between 1-2% per year.

The contract must be approved by the unit members and by the SAG-AFTRA national board at its July 21 meeting to go into effect. SAG-AFTRA said the deal also includes upgraded minimum rates for day players after the ninth day of work on any production; newly established working conditions and safety protections, including minimum rest period between calls of 10 hours, requirement for qualified personnel to coordinate stunts, provisions regarding protection of minors and overtime, holiday pay, and per diem when on location.

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said, “This is a historic moment for Spanish-language performers in our industry. I am incredibly proud of our negotiating team and what they have accomplished. I also want to acknowledge Telemundo’s efforts in working with us to reach this agreement: a first contract with residuals, minimums, and pension and health ̶ three pillars that set a strong foundation for generations to come.”

Last year’s unionization vote came after SAG-AFTRA accused Telemundo parent NBCUniversal of operating with a double standard between Spanish-language and English-language talent hired for productions under the same parent corporation.

Telemundo said in a statement Thursday: “As the leading Spanish-language prime time content producer in the US, Telemundo Television Studios is pleased to have reached an agreement with SAG-AFTRA for performers on our scripted dramatic productions in the US. After a thoughtful and productive negotiation, we look forward to working with our performers and other employees to continue creating the best content in Spanish-language media.”

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