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October 20, 2009

AFTRA and SAG Approve Extension of Contracts Covering Non-Broadcast, Industrial and Educational Agreements

AFTRA and SAG Approve Extension of Contracts Covering Non-Broadcast, Industrial and Educational Agreements
By SOP newswire2

Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced today that the AFTRA Administrative Committee and Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors have approved an 18-month extension to the SAG Industrial and Educational Contract and AFTRA Code of Fair Practice for Non Broadcast/Industrial/Educational Recorded Material. The contracts, which were set to expire on Oct. 29, 2009, will now be effective Nov. 1, 2009, to April 31, 2011.

In addition to the extended term, the agreement includes a 0.5% increase in employer contributions to the Screen Actors Guild-Producers Pension and Health Plans and AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds, effective Nov. 1, 2009, and an important clarification that work produced under the contracts is not and never has been intended for the production of commercials.

Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard said, These contracts are critical to our members across the country and extending them gives us the opportunity to strategize ways to increase covered work under the agreements. The successful extension of the Industrial and Educational Contract directly reflects the continued importance of joint bargaining and allows our members to continue to work under a fair contract for the next year and a half, and with a bump to their pension and health. ”

Roberta Reardon, AFTRA National President praised the extension saying: Work under the Non-Broadcast/Industrial Code rarely grabs headlines or elevates performers to celebrity status. It does something far more important: it provides steady employment for thousands of union members in small and large markets across the nation. This extension will keep our members working, increase their opportunities to qualify for health and retirement benefits and will permit our unions the opportunity to organize more work for more members under this contract. ”

We`re glad to have achieved this extension jointly with AFTRA and look forward to joint negotiations again on the Industrial and Educational Contract in 2011, ” said Ray Rodriguez, the Screen Actors Guild deputy national executive director who oversees contracts.

The increase in employer contributions to our health and retirement plans, along with the confirmation by the industry that the Non-Broadcast Code cannot be used for commercial production are important achievements in this extension agreement, ” said Mathis L. Dunn, Jr., Chief Negotiator for AFTRA.

The extension agreement was negotiated by both unions under the terms of the AFL-CIO facilitated Joint Commercials Contracts Negotiating Agreement, which governs the bargaining and administration of the 2009-2012 Commercials contracts, and was expanded earlier this summer to cover the 2009 negotiation of the AFTRA Non-Broadcast/Industrial Contract and the SAG Industrial and Educational Contract. The Chief Negotiator for the Industry Lee W. Gluckman Jr., who represented the employers in the negotiations said, This extended agreement will quite beneficial to producers and their clients in growing production. The “no commercials here` clarification is also an important addition to the contract. ”

The SAG and AFTRA contracts cover performers rendering on-camera and voiceover services in sales programs, educational and training videos, informational and promotional messages seen in stores and video included in certain consumer products, and other projects that are exhibited outside of the traditional broadcast arena (with AFTRA`s contract also covering audio-only content, such as telephone messages and sound included in consumer products).

About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation`s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists` rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 120,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors` working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists` rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

About AFTRA
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audiobooks, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com.

http://thesop.org/entertainment/2009/10/16/aftra-and-sag-approve-extension-of-contracts-covering-nonbroadcast-industrial-and-educational-agreements

August 8, 2009

Mail for SAG Members

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 1:49 pm
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Message from Interim National Executive Director David White


August 7, 2009
 

Dear Screen Actors Guild member,
 
Ballots for the tentative agreement recently reached on a Basic Cable Live Action successor contract were mailed on Wednesday, August 5, to all eligible members.
 
As you may know, on July 25, 2009, the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors voted 95% to 5% to recommend this contract for your approval.
 
Your ballot will be arriving in your mailbox soon and we have also posted the referendum packet online <http://www.sag.org/2009BasicCable.pdf> . Please review the materials and contact us if you have any questions. You can reach us by email at contract2009@sag.org and by telephone at the national contracts hotline at (323) 549-6665.

Please be sure your voice is heard and mail your ballot in the envelope provided in time for it to be received at the post office box in Everett, Washington no later than 5 p.m. PDT on August 26, 2009.
 
In unity and looking forward,
 
 
David White
Interim National Executive Director

June 3, 2009

FROM SAG: Message to Members (MAY 3, 2009)

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  • June 2, 2009

    Digital Media Law: SAG REJECTED STUDIO OFFER; BACK TO STALEMATE (FEB. 22, 2009)

    Digital Media Law  
    SAG Rejects Studio Offer; Back to Stalemate

    By a vote of 73% to 27%, the Screen Actors Guild board of directors voted Saturday to reject the studios’ most recent offer, which the studio alliance, the AMPTP, had delivered two days earlier. Thus, the offer will not be sent out to the membership for a ratification vote. Nor, however, does the rejection mean that there will be a strike, since the union has not (as yet, at least) sent a strike authorization vote to the membership. There are no further meetings scheduled between the two sides.
     

    What next? No doubt there will be attempts at back-channel talks, but, if so, progress is likely to be slow at best. The studio offer by its terms was to remain on the table for up to 60 days. Now that it’s been formally rejected, however, the studios could presumably impose the proposed deal unilaterally. Or, they could lock actors out. Neither action seems likely though, since either one would tend to unify the SAG membership, and neither approach would give the studios what they want (particularly in the feature realm), which is the absolute assurance that the union won’t strike. That complete assurance comes only when a signed contract is in place.

    Thus, the most likely result is continued stalemate. Indeed, in the short term, SAG has other fish to fry: the negotiations over the commercials contract begin Monday. That agreement is SAG’s second most important contract economically. Fresh from today’s boardroom, the union’s leaders must now decamp for New York , where they, along with AFTRA leaders and the two unions’ joint commercials negotiating committee, face off against the Joint Policy Committee (JPC), representing advertisers and ad agencies.

    Meanwhile, SAG’s main objection to the AMPTP offer is not new media per se, but the rather more prosaic issue of contract expiration date. SAG wants the contract to expire June 30, 2011, which would put in synch with AFTRA and just a couple months later than the Writers Guild. That synchronicity, with its threat of a possible joint strike, would give the unions negotiating leverage in 2011. They’ll need that leverage to effectively bargain over new media, which will have grown in economic importance by then, perhaps dramatically.

    The studios, however, want a three-year deal, which is the usual term for Hollywood labor agreements, and the offer rejected today so reflects. That would put SAG’s expiration in early 2012, or almost a year later than the WGA’s. The stage would be set for a repetition of this year’s labor scenario, in which the SAG deal expired 8 months after the WGA’s did (in fall 2007). Indeed, with a desynchronized expiration date, SAG could find itself playing a weak hand every three years for future negotiating cycles to come. As new media continues to evolve, SAG would find itself entering increasingly difficult negotiations with little leverage.

    The studio offer includes an unusual wrinkle: the SAG deal will be allowed to expire on June 30, 2011 (which is the same date the AFTRA agreement expires), but only if SAG and AFTRA jointly bargain and reach a deal before that date. In other words, the two unions would be able to bargain jointly, but SAG would not have a strike threat to back up its negotiating position.

    Below are statements released by SAG and the AMPTP.

    ———————

    STATEMENT FROM SAG NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS — SAG NATIONAL BOARD REJECTS AMPTP LAST, BEST AND FINAL OFFER

    Los Angeles, (February 21, 2009) – The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today voted 73% to 27% to “reject the AMPTPs last, best and final offer dated February 19, 2009.”

    We entered this round of negotiations sending an unmistakably clear message that we were ready to make a deal. In an effort to put the town back to work, our negotiator agreed to modify the Guild’s bargaining position to bring the Guild in line with the deals made by our sister unions.

    The AMPTPs last-minute, surprise demand for a new term of agreement extending to 2012 is regressive and damaging and clearly signals the employers’ unwillingness to agree to the deal they established with other entertainment unions. The demand for a new term of agreement was not part of their final offer of June 30, 2008; it was not part of the federally mediated talks of November 2008, and should not have been inserted into the discussions when we returned to negotiations on February 17, 2009.

    What management presented as a compromise is, in fact, an attempt to separate Screen Actors Guild from other industry unions. By attempting to extend our contract expiration one year beyond the other entertainment unions, the AMPTP intends to deleverage our bargaining position from this point forward.

    Screen Actors Guild’s goal is to successfully complete these negotiations and get the industry back to work as soon as possible. The AMPTP has clearly stated their need and desire for financial certainty and industry peace. This new proposal does the exact opposite, and will only result in constant negotiating cycles and continued labor unrest.

    ———————


    Statement by the AMPTP


    The Producers’ offer is strong and fair – and has been judged to be strong and fair by all of Hollywood’s other major Guilds and Unions. We have kept our offer on the table – and even enhanced it – despite the historically unprecedented economic crisis that has clobbered our nation and our industry.

    The Producers have always sought a full three-year deal with SAG, just as we negotiated with all the other Unions and Guilds, and have offered SAG a way to achieve an earlier expiration date without contributing to further labor uncertainty. We simply cannot offer SAG a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry.

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