By David Robb Deadline November 25, 2019 10:58am
UPDATED with comment from union president: The American Federation of Musicians has reached a tentative deal for a new film and TV contract with management’s AMPTP. The new two-year deal still must be ratified by the union’s members.
“The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the American Federation of Musicians and have concluded negotiations and have reached a tentative agreement on terms for a new two-year collective bargaining agreement,” AMPTP spokesman Jarryd Gonzales told Deadline.
Their current deal expired on November 14, and the tentative pact was reached Friday.
Terms of the new agreement have not yet been made public, but the main issue was residuals from films and TV shows made for streaming services. The 80,000-member union has said that “As new media consumption has grown, studios have agreed to pay streaming residuals for actors, writers, directors and others when films are made for streaming, but musicians have been uniquely excluded. Musicians currently receive residual payments for secondary-market uses of theatrical and TV films, but not for films made for the Internet.”
Musicians Union Delivers Petitions To AMPTP Demanding Fair Contract
AFM International President Ray Hair told Deadline that the new contract “represents a number of improvements in the made-for-new-media realm, but we won’t release details of this until we have sent bullet-point notification of this to the bargaining unit.”
The new contract, he said, will also help fund the union’s struggling pension plan, which recently entered “critical and declining status.”
“The agreement, by its very nature, improves pension contributions, but that’s all I can give to you,” Hair said in a phone call from Texas.
The on-and-off negotiations have been going on for most of the year, during which time the union staged numerous protests demanding a fair contact. In March, Hair said: “As streaming consumption grows, the absence of streaming residuals will prevent musicians from being able to afford a home and feed their families, and threatens to erode the major contributions our members make to our local communities. AFM members must take on the changes in technology by ensuring that we maintain good jobs and a rightful place in the future of the industry.”
Increased revenue sharing from streaming services is expected to be major bargaining issue for the DGA, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA in their negotiations for new contracts next year, as well.
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*Photos inclusive in Mr. Robb’s Deadline article