by David Robb July 16, 2017 12:02 am
The SAG-AFTRA national board of directors has approved the union’s new film and TV contract, which the union says will generate an additional $256 million for performers over the next three years. It will now go to the members for final ratification. “This is a forward-looking package with meaningful gains across our entire membership,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
One of the biggest gains – in line with those achieved by the DGA and the WGA in their negotiations with management’s AMPTP – is a tripling of residuals from shows that air on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. Actors will also receive those residuals a lot earlier than before – after 90 days instead of a year.
Union leaders say they also achieved an “historic breakthrough” in the rules governing travel for television performers, including an up to five-fold increase in the fees due to series performers who work at locations away from home. “The travel rules for television have been rationalized and clarified, closing many loopholes and ambiguities that have allowed for abuse,” the union said.
Option rules covering series performers were also “greatly improved,” the union said, reducing exclusivity periods for many series performers during which they can be held off the market.
The new pact provides for a 2.5 percent wage hike effective immediately and 3 percent pay raises in each of the second and third years. Employers will also add another half of a percentage point to their contributions to the SAG and AFTRA retirement plans, raising their contribution rate to 17.5 percent.
The contract also calls for an immediate 5 percent wage hike for stunt coordinators working under flat deal contracts in television; improvements in overtime provisions for extras working in “zones” around major West Coast cities so that they match standards in New York, and an 18 percent pay raise for extras working for the CW network. Even so, many stunt coordinators and background players have told Deadline that they’re unhappy with the new deal, which they say does not go far enough in addressing their needs.
The pact also provides an increase in residual rates; improvements to advertiser-supported streaming residuals; first-ever residuals compensation for foreign use, and improvements to money and schedule breaks.
The union also secured an additional 0.2 percent increase in funding for the SAG-AFTRA industry cooperative funds, which support safety training, sexual harassment prevention training and monitoring of animal safety on sets.
The union also won recognition of Middle Eastern North African as a diverse category in casting date reports, although the union has stopped sharing those reports with the public.
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*Headline photo selected by Watchdog