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SAG-AFTRA Prepping for Film-TV Contract Negotiations

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA have launched the process of crafting a proposal for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television.

The union’s national board, meeting this weekend in Los Angeles, approved the establishment of the wages and working conditions committee, and appointed President Gabrielle Carteris as chair — a post that she filled in the 2017 round of negotiations. The committee will hold a series of member meetings in coming months to hammer out details.

The current three-year deal with the studios, negotiated through the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, will expire on June 30, 2020. The contract covers work by SAG-AFTRA members that generates more than $1 billion in annual compensation. The union has about 160,000 members.

“I am incredibly honored to represent our members in these crucial negotiations and thank the national board for their confidence in giving me this appointment,” Carteris said. “I will fight to ensure we are positioned for a successful negotiation that takes a strategic approach to enhancing our members’ careers and their ability to make a meaningful living.”

The current pact generated opposition from about one in every four members who voted. SAG-AFTRA touted “significant” improvements in the residuals rate paid to performers for exhibition of their performances on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. The new formula contains a 300% increase in residuals within the first two years when exhibited worldwide on Netflix.

National executive director David White said, “The wages and working conditions process gives us the insight of our dynamic membership, which we need to shape our contract proposals. I want to encourage all members to participate so that we get the fullest picture possible going into these important negotiations.”

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