SAG-AFTRA members have ratified a three-year successor deal to its commercials contracts with nearly 97% approval among those voting.
The union announced the ratification Wednesday night shortly after voting concluded. It touted the deals as landmark agreements due to “flexible” alternative compensation models to promote growth of union-covered commercial work and protections against workplace sexual harassment. SAG-AFTRA began including language last year in its master contracts that placed limits on auditions in hotel rooms and private residences.
SAG-AFTRA president and Commercials Negotiating Committee chair Gabrielle Carteris said, “This is an historic moment for our members, our union and this industry. Committed members from around the country created new contract options for an evolving commercial landscape. Our strength is always in our unity.
SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator David White said, “Members will see across-the-board wage increases for all categories of work, increases to the benefit plans, coverage of stunt coordinators, outsized gains to group dancers, protections against workplace sexual harassment and streamlined processes for commercial agents representing SAG-AFTRA members. I applaud President Carteris, our terrific member negotiating committee and our superb staff for securing these breakthrough achievements.”
SAG-AFTRA said the new contract contains packages with “substantial” upfront payments; across-the-board wage increases of 6%; increased funding to the health and retirement/pension plans estimated at $22.2 million; coverage of stunt coordinators; outsized gains to group dancers; and an improved renegotiation process for commercial agents representing SAG-AFTRA members.
The contract covers an estimated $1 billion in annual earnings. Agreements will become effective retroactive to April 1 and will remain in force through March 31, 2022. Postcards were mailed to about 136,000 eligible union members.
The union and the ad industry began negotiations on Feb. 20 and reached a tentative agreement on April 2. The SAG-AFTRA national board approved the deal unanimously a week later, triggering the ratification vote.