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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 first meetings were held in recent days and more than a dozen members-only “wages and working conditions” meetings were held Wednesday at offices of the performers union in Atlanta, Bethesda, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis.

The Wednesday sessions covered residuals and emerging media. Upcoming sessions will cover the outlook for scripted dramatic live action; exclusivity and options; pension and health; new media and SVOD; schedule breaks; and nudity and scenes involving sexuality.

The union’s national board established the wages and working conditions committee in April, and appointed president Gabrielle Carteris as chair — a post that she filled in the 2017 round of negotiations.

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. No date has been set for launching negotiations. The AMPTP had no comment Wednesday.

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. Negotiations went three days past the contract expiration before a tentative deal was reached.

The union has begun including protections against workplace sexual harassment in its master contracts starting last year, placing limits on auditions in hotel rooms and private residences.

 

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