Check Out Our New Look

New Rule Lets Actors Combine SAG & AFTRA Earnings To Qualify For Health Care

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 2:04pm PDT

New Rule Lets Actors Combine SAG & AFTRA Earnings To Qualify For Health CareAs negotiators work to beat the midnight deadline for a new SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract, the union has taken the first major step toward merging its two separate health care plans. Effective tomorrow, actors for the first time can combine their earnings under SAG and AFTRA’s separate film and TV contracts in order to reach the minimum threshold of $15,100 to qualify for SAG Plan II health benefits. Until now, hundreds of actors who didn’t earn enough under either of the union’s separate TV contracts had to go without union health coverage.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Extras Squeezed Out Of Health & Pension Plans

Income from SAG and AFTRA’s separate contracts earned from April 1, 2013, through March 31 will be combined. Going forward, all earnings reported to both plans during each applicable 12-month base earnings period will be combined to allow for greater access to union health benefits. It is, at least in part, a fulfillment of the promise that one day the union’s two separate plans would be merged into one — which a SAG-AFTRA official said last month was a key goal of the merged union.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Takes “First Step” To Merge Health Plans

Comments (8)

R.I.P. John C. Hall Jr.

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 1:22pm PST

John C. Hall Jr., a former national executive secretary of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, died November 10. In a statement announcing Hall’s death on its website today, SAG-AFTRA remembered Hall as someone who “was deeply dedicated to unionism and and selflessly gave of his time and energy to promote the well-being of performers and media professionals”. Hall succeeded Sanford “Bud” Wolff in 1985 as national executive secretary, a position that later became known as national executive director. Hall negotiated AFTRA contracts until he retired in 1991. That same year, he was honored with the George Heller Memorial Award, a recognition of his union work throughout the years. Early in his career, he worked as a makeup artist for films and then served as a business rep for Makeup and Hairstylist Local 798 and Wardrobe Local 764.

Comments (0)

SAG-AFTRA Anti-Merger Lawsuit Dropped

SAG-AFTRA MergerSAG-AFTRA merger opponents who lost their attempt to enjoin the two unions combining but continued with their lawsuit are dropping it. Below is the letter they wrote to SAG counsel explaining why they’ve agreed to dismiss their case. The stipulation will be filed today or tomorrow. This follows SAG-AFTRA threatening to go after each anti-merger litigant personally to repay the union’s legal fees:


SAG AFTRA Lawsuit Dropped

Comments (10)

SAG-AFTRA MERGER APPROVED! 81.9% Of SAG Ballots Returned Voted Yes; 86.1% Of AFTRA; Single Union Effective Immediately

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 1:13pm PDT

SAG AFTRA Approved BREAKING… 3RD UPDATE: The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists  are now one union effective immediately. The announcement was greeted with huge cheers, applause, hugs, and the mass singing of “We Shall Overcome” inside the headquarters. SAG President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon, both strong advocates of the merger, announced the referendum results today in Los Angeles saying, “SAG-AFTRA is born.”  Howard continued, “This is the day that we have decisively chosen a path of unity and strength. This is the culmination of years of work. People have worked for this goal for decades. We stand on your shoulders. The members wanted merger, they wanted it as soon as possible and, member, you can be assured that you were heard. You have sent a message to our employers. You have said loud and clear this is not a fractured group but a united group. We are committed to helping to shape the future of the industries. In a single day our future has become brighter.”

After the announcement Howard told Deadline that “relief” was his persnal reaction to the refrendum result. “This merger was so necessary to the future of actors and I wanted it be resoundingly approved,” he said. “That they approved it with such a massive mandate is a huge answer for us going forward.” The single union now represents more than 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Their work can be seen and heard in theaters, on television and radio, sound recordings, the Internet, games, mobile devices and home video.

Immediately, the AMPTP which represents Big Media’s studios and networks stated about the merged union: “The AMPTP looks forward to a cooperative relationship with the new performers’ organization as we endeavor to address the challenges of operating in an industry undergoing transformation.” The Directors Guild as well as the Writers Guild West and East also sent congratulations.

One nagging issue which no one at today’s podium wanted to address with substance was the future (and possible merger) of the SAG and AFTRA pension and health plans. Said SAG Executive Director David White who also has been on the Board Of Trustees of the SAG P&HP: “I think today we are celebrating but we are going to begin the process. But we don’t have much more to add at this point.” And Ken Howard said, “I think they will get a lot stronger over time. We were able to clear up a lot of misconceptions. Let me give you an example, vested pensions are protected by federal law. So they will not be diluted.”

The referendum results were:

SAG:
105,368 number of ballots mailed.
81.9 percent yes votes
53 percent returned

AFTRA:
65,744 number of ballots mailed.
86.18 percent of yes votes
51.7 percent returned

Big cheers erupted when Ken Howard said, ”Let me introduce my esteemed SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, who said, “What an incredible culmination of two years of hard work. We stand as one. This new union will give us the collective voice and presence to protect our present contracts. Finally we are able to speak with one unified voice. In life there’s rarely reward without risk. There is power in a union.”

Asked by Deadline what they had to say to the anti-merger forces, Reardon replied: “I encourage them to stay involved. It’s a big tent.” To which Howard said, ”Ditto”.

AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth said: ”This is a historic day not just for our members but the American labor movement… Today’s vote is a bold statement that union solidarity is alive and well and will not be denied.”

The first convention of the new ‘SAG-AFTRA’ union is scheduled to be held in Los Angeles around September 2013. Click here to see the merger agreement document. The results, tallied by Integrity Voting Systems, were also streamed live online Friday afternoon. A result of 60% or more from the valid returned ballots cast in each union’s vote was required for the merger to be approved. More than 131,000 ballots were sent out on February 27th to members of both unions. The deadline for ballots to be returned to be counted was 10 AM PST today. Union members were encouraged to approve the merger by their respective national boards who claimed that “one union will increase our bargaining leverage”. But anti-merger forces led by Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Anne-Marie Johnson, and other high profile critics cited concerns about other issues, SAG AFTRA Unionincluding the lack of a formal study to determine how SAG’s and AFTRA’s health and pension plans would be handled after the merger. The anti-merger group went to court to stop the vote. But on March 28, Judge James Otero dismissed their effort. However, Otero did allow the anti-merger force’s claims that the SAG board breached fiduciary duties in the proposed merger and of breach of contract to continue in the courts. But today’s referendum culminates a merger effort that has been rejected in the past by SAG members several times.

Here is the SAG-AFTRA announcement:

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2012) — The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild are pleased to announce that members of both organizations have overwhelmingly voted to approve a merger, creating a new entity, SAG-AFTRA. SAG members voted 82 percent in favor of the merger. AFTRA members favored the merger with 86 percent, exceeding the 60 percent threshold needed for both unions’ membership for passage.

Read More »

Comments 131

SAG-AFTRA Merger Voting Results To Be Revealed Today

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 8:56am PDT

UPDATE, 8:56 AM FRIDAY: Today’s press conference will be live-streamed at sagaftra.org.

PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM: SAG national president Ken Howard, AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon, SAG secretary-treasurer Amy Aquino, AFTRA treasurer Matt Kimbrough, SAG 1st national VP Ned Vaughn, AFTRA 2nd national VP Gabrielle Carteris, SAG 2nd national VP Mike Hodge, AFTRA national executive director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and SAG national executive director David White will be in attendance to answer questions. The briefing is set for 1 PM PT in the James Cagney Boardroom of SAG’s Hollywood headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard.

Comments 28

Judge Won’t Stop SAG-AFTRA Merger Vote – But Notes Members May See “Decrease In Benefits” Because Of No Actuarial Study

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 6:06pm PDT

Related: Anti SAG-AFTRA Merger Plaintiffs On Court Decision: “Only Time Will Tell”

U.S. District Court Judge James Otero rejected the anti SAG-AFTRA merger efforts by Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Diane Ladd, and others to render the vote void before it is conducted. So now the SAG-AFTRA merger referendum results will be known after 1 PM Friday. But the judge noted that while he would not dismiss the anti-merger forces’ claims that the SAG board breached fiduciary duties in the proposed merger, especially its effects on SAG member’s pension and health plans, “If the merger is approved by the Membership, and the Members eventually see a decrease in benefits, it will be the result of their informed decision to vote for merger without the benefit of an actuarial study. The democratic process does not always yield the most desirable results for all.” The judge also rejected SAG’s attempt to dismiss the suit outright and allowed the anti-merger forces’ breach of contract claim to continue. Today’s decision comes just over a week after the judge cancelled a March 26 hearing on the matter and chose instead to issue an order.

Here’s partial reaction from the antimerger force that brought the lawsuit:

Unfortunately, only time will tell whether or not the concerns brought to light by this litigation were heeded. Our greatest concern is that a year from now, members who voted for the merger will find out that, as this lawsuit predicts, their pension and health benefits will be diminished and the split earnings issue will effectively continue. Members will still be unable to qualify for benefits because their combined earnings will likely have to exceed an increased earnings threshold. Plaintiffs continue to believe that the decision of the union not to conduct a professional, actuarial study, was done intentionally to hide those findings from a membership that needed to know the truth. The Court made no finding to the contrary.

Here’s the SAG announcement:

Los Angeles, Calif.– Federal Judge James Otero today denied the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction in Sheen v SAG clearing the way for Screen Actors Guild’s merger referendum ballot counting to go forward as scheduled on Friday, March 30.

Read More »

Comments (12)

AFTRA Again Dominates Broadcast Pilots But SAG Affiliation Is On The Rise

By | Tuesday March 27, 2012 @ 7:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Primetime TV’s seismic shift from SAG to AFTRA representation is credited as one of the driving forces behind the efforts to merge the two actors unions. The current broadcast pilot season, which coincides with the voting period for SAG and AFTRA members on the merger proposal, is once again dominated by AFTRA, but SAG is gaining ground. TV pilots’ shift from SAG to AFTRA affiliation happened overnight in the spring of 2009 when, fearing a possible SAG strike, TV studios went from 90%-plus SAG representation for their pilots the year before to 90%-plus AFTRA affiliation. The next year, 2010, marked the peak of AFTRA pilot dominance, with all but one pilot in the smaller union’s column. Last year, AFTRA started to loosen its grip, with SAG’s market share rising to 11%. Judging by the data I have assembled so far, SAG’s pilot representation has climbed to 20% this pilot season (17 out of 86 pilots). While still dominated by AFTRA, SAG at least is slowly inching toward parity.

Early AFTRA adopter Sony Pictures TV once again went 100% AFTRA, joined this year by 20th Century Fox TV. For a third consecutive year, CBS TV Studios had one SAG-represented pilot, Widow Detective, while Universal TV, ABC Studios and Warner Bros. TV all increased the number of SAG-affiliated pilots this year. Universal TV, Warner Bros TV and ABC Studios have five each: dramas Mockingbird Lane and Notorious and comedies Friday Night Dinner, IsabelRead More »

Comments (9)

SAG Anti-Merger Rally Lacks Star Power

By | Thursday March 22, 2012 @ 3:36pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor
SAG AFTRA Merger
About 25 anti-merger SAG members marched in front of the guild’s offices on Wilshire this afternoon, just more than a week before the union votes March 30 on the SAG-AFTRA tie-up. Noticably absent were the likes of Martin Sheen, Ed Harris and other celebrities who have taken to the courts to stop the vote (a judge is expected to issue an order on an injunction at some point in time). Those who did show up chanted anti-merger slogans and pounded on small drums. ”We want to raise aweness of how this will adversely effect member’s pension plans and health plans,” organizer Scott Pierce told Deadline. Merger supporters were on hand as well. “I know some are opposed to the merger, like the people here today, who we’ve seen out before, but remember people like George Clooney and Tom Hanks are very much for it,” said Gabrielle Carteris, AFTRA’s LA president and national VP. “This is a democratic process. Members know it and the judge knows it.” The rally broke up around 3 PM.

Related:
SAG-AFTRA Merger: Pro And Con Videos
SAG-AFTRA Pro- and Anti-Merger Websites

Comments (10)

JPMorgan Chase Offers Settlement In AFTRA Suit Over Hedge Fund Losses

By | Tuesday March 20, 2012 @ 2:47pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

JPMorgan Chase has potentially settled for $150 million with the AFTRA retirement fund and others to cover losses from toxic hedge fund investments. Lawyers for AFTRA and other plaintiffs in the case against the bank’s Sigma Finance fund called the proposed deal “fair, adequate and reasonable” in documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in New York. The plan now goes before Judge Shira Scheindlin in a final approval hearing set for June 4. ”Resolution of the case at this juncture “allow the parties to avoid the risks and costs associated with trial, as well as potential years of continued litigation on appeal,” said lawyer Peter LeVan Jr in the court filing, also posted on the JPMorgan Chase website. AFTRA filed an initial class action for breach of fiduciary duties” against the bank on January 23, 2009. The Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority Pension Fund and El Cento, California’s Imperial County Employees’ Retirement System sued soon after. All three allege that JPMorgan Chase ignored analysts “warning signs” in 2007 about the hedge fund and the “risks of Sigma’s inability to pay the Notes as they matured.” Because of this, AFTRA and the other investors say, the bank lost a “substantial portion” of their money.

Comments (3)

SAG-AFTRA Lawsuit: March 26 Hearing Canceled

By | Monday March 19, 2012 @ 2:15pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

SAG AFTRA Merger LawsuitJudge James Otero sent out an order today cancelling the March 26 hearing in the lawsuit filed by Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Diane Ladd and others asking to render the SAG-AFTRA merger vote void before it is conducted. The federal judge said the motion to dismiss the case and the motion for a preliminary injunction “are taken under submission” and added that “an order will be issued” on the matter. Otero gave no indication as to when that might happen or whether it will stop the vote scheduled for March 30.

Related:
SAG-AFTRA Merger: Pro And Con Videos
SAG Anti-Merger Members File Lawsuit Against Screen Actors Guild

Comments (3)

SAG-AFTRA Merger Ballots Mailed Out

By | Tuesday February 28, 2012 @ 2:29pm PST

SAG-AFTRA Pro- And Anti-Merger Websites

LOS ANGELES – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild on Monday sent out ballots to approximately 131,000 members of both organizations.

The mailer included full details of the proposed SAG-AFTRA merger, including the Merger Agreement and Constitution, which were overwhelmingly approved by both unions’ national boards in January, as well as a Pension & Health/Health & Retirement Feasibility Report.

Members may also review the ballot package at SAGAFTRA.org, view a livestream informational meeting on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, and attend upcoming local informational meetings to ask questions. Ballots must be received at the assigned post office box no later than 10 a.m. PDT, March 30.

Read More »

Comments 31

AFTRA Members Ratify Recordings Contract

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 7:30pm PST

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 30, 2012) – AFTRA members who work in Sound Recordings have ratified a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings.

Voting by phone or Internet closed Jan. 30, with affected members voting close to 99% in favor of approving the Sound Recordings Code. The ratification is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012 and runs through Dec. 31, 2014.

AFTRA members achieved an increase in base rates, as well as the key objective of increasing employer contributions to the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds. Highlights of the contract include:

  • Increase in base rates by more than 6% over the term of the agreement (2% increases effective each year of the contract)
  • Increase in the employer health and retirement contribution rate on royalty income by 1% over the life of the agreement
  • Maintained required special employer contributions which guarantee health insurance benefits for royalty artists on the current “roster” of a label, by increasing the maximum on employer contributions by 30%, from $5,000 to $6,500 per year
  • Improved and expanded performers’ base of participation in revenue from sale of digital downloads
  • Established a new structure of revenue-based payments for new areas of low budget licenses and licenses for non-traditional usages, such as re-use of recordings in novelty consumer products, which will also enhance compliance and expedite payments to members

Read More »

Comments (0)

Actors Largely Support Proposed SAG-AFTRA Merger At SAG Awards, But There Is Also Opposition And Concern

By | Sunday January 29, 2012 @ 4:33pm PST

SAG Awards Live Blog: SAG Prez Touts Merger With AFTRA
AFTRA National Board OKs SAG Merger, SAG Board OKs AFTRA Merger
SAG Will Include Anti-Merger With Voting Materials Sent To Members

Ray Richmond and Anthony D’Alessandro are contributing to Deadline’s SAG Awards coverage

The view of the pending SAG-AFTRA merger on the red carpet before today’s SAG Awards was mixed. Supporters far outnumbered detractors but many were cautious in their enthusiasm and concerned about potential hidden traps in the deal’s fine print. About 10% of the attendees, including SAG president Ken Howard and Alec Baldwin, wore SAG-AFTRA One Union lapel pins (photo below).

Leading the support was Meryl Streep, who replied, ”The merger? I’m in favor of it.” Added Kenneth Branagh: “I do think that the whole debate has been very passionate. My feeling has been, as a 20-year guild member and as a member of AFTRA, to observe that the people are trying to protect the rights of actors and those who work in our business. So that ultimately is the end here. Democracy has to be at work here. People have to take their own view on it. And this has to be very rigorously scrutinized and it will be.” Noted industry veteran Carl Reiner: “I think it’s a good idea. Actors should get together and talk … Read More »

Comments 36

SAG & AFTRA Presidents Send Letter To Members, Call Merger “Historic Opportunity”

By | Sunday January 29, 2012 @ 4:28pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

There has been a lot to process for SAG and AFTRA members this weekend between the votes by the union’s boards to approve a merger and the SAG Awards. Also today, SAG president Ken Howard and his AFTRA counterpart Roberta Reordan sent a joint letter to their members detailing the ballot procedure. As part of it, SAG and AFTRA will launch a joint Web site on Feb.3. Here is the letter:

To Our Fellow AFTRA and SAG Members:

This weekend, the SAG and AFTRA National Boards took a decisive step to strengthen our future by overwhelmingly endorsing a plan to merge the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild. If members approve the merger, the new union will be called SAG-AFTRA.

Read More »

Comments (0)

AFTRA National Board Oks SAG Merger

By | Saturday January 28, 2012 @ 4:49pm PST

SAG Will Include Anti-Merger Statement With Referendum For Members
SAG National Board Okays AFTRA Merger

No surprise on the timing of these SAG and AFTRA National Board Of Directors votes because an announcement will be made at the SAG Awards televised Sunday night on TNT/TBS. Here’s AFTRA’s and SAG’s statement:

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK (Jan. 28, 2012) – The National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, recording artist and other performers who work across the spectrum of media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings and digital media – today voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend to the AFTRA member ship a plan to merge with Screen Actors Guild.

The National Board met in a regularly scheduled meeting via videoconference in New York and Los Angeles to vote on the merger package put forward by the AFTRA and SAG Group for One Union (G1), which includes a Merger Agreement, Constitution and Dues Structure.

The vote was 94%-6% in favor.

The AFTRA National Board’s resolution will provide for the referendum material to be mailed to AFTRA members on or about Feb. 27, 2012, with a ballot return and tabulation deadline of March 30, 2012.

This time frame was created  to

Read More »

Comments (13)

SAG National Board Okays AFTRA Merger: Combined Union To Be Named SAG-AFTRA

By | Friday January 27, 2012 @ 6:56pm PST

SAG Will Include Anti-Merger Statement With Voting Materials Sent To Members

No surprise on the timing of these SAG and AFTRA National Board Of Directors votes because an announcement will be made at the SAG Awards televised Sunday night on TNT/TBS. Here’s SAG’s statement followed by AFTRA’s:

LOS ANGELES (January 27, 2012) – The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend a plan to merge with AFTRA. The board met in a regularly scheduled plenary meeting in the James Cagney Board Room at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters and voted after reviewing a merger package put forward by the SAG and AFTRA Group for One Union (G1) that includes a Merger Agreement and Constitution.

Collectively, these documents outline the plan of merger, dues and finance structure, membership requirements, and other basic attributes of the successor union. The same merger package must now be approved by AFTRA’s National Board of Directors which is scheduled to meet on Jan. 28, to review and vote on the package. Should the AFTRA board approve the merger package as well, a referendum will be sent out for a vote by members of both unions in the coming weeks.

The proposed name for the new union is SAG-AFTRA.

The resolution read:

“It was moved and seconded that the National Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the Merger Task Force, approves

Read More »

Comments 46

AFTRA And SAG Negotiators Agree On Merger Package To Send To Memberships

By | Monday January 16, 2012 @ 5:13am PST

LOS ANGELES (January 16, 2012) — The AFTRA and SAG Group for One Union (G1) met for nine days in Los Angeles to continue the process of creating a successor union to SAG and AFTRA. After productive discussions and reaching consensus, a Merger Package was approved by the G1 to send to the respective boards of AFTRA and SAG for approval. The SAG National Board of Directors will meet on Jan. 27 and 28 to review and vote on the package, which includes a Merger Agreement and Constitution. The AFTRA National Board of Directors will meet on Jan. 28 and, if needed, Jan. 29 to review and vote on the package.

Details of the proposed merger package will not be released prior to the AFTRA and SAG board meetings.

Read More »

Comments 70

AFTRA Reaches Tentative Agreement On Sound Recordings Code Contract

By | Thursday December 15, 2011 @ 1:28pm PST

AFTRA’s board had signed off on a strike-authorization vote back in October after negotiations broke down for a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings. It’s the second-largest national contract and covers singers, royalty and non-royalty artists, as well as announcers, actors, comedians, narrators and sound effects artists who work on recordings in all new and traditional media and all music formats, in addition to audiobooks, comedy albums and cast albums. The Code generates more than $140 million annually in AFTRA-covered earnings and benefits for both major artists and session singers around the country. Here’s AFTRA’s release today:

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 15, 2011) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 recording artists, broadcasters, actors, singers, dancers and other performers who work across the spectrum of media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings and digital media – announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement with the recording industry on a new, successor agreement to AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings. The current Sound Recordings Code is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2011.

AFTRA members achieved an increase in base rates, as well as the key objective of increasing employer contributions to the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds.

Read More »

Comments (0)

AFTRA Reaches New Network TV Code Deal

By | Friday December 9, 2011 @ 10:28pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

After a month of negotiations, AFTRA has reached a tentative 3-year agreement with the Big 4 broadcast networks and other producers for a new Network Television Code, which covers all programming except network scripted primetime series. The most recent one-year extension to the previous AFTRA Network Television Code expired on Nov. 15. The new agreement, which runs from Nov. 16, 2011 through Nov. 15, 2014, calls for a 1% increase in employer contributions to the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds upon ratification as well as a 2% wage increase every year. Here is the announcement with additional details:

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 9, 2011) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals – today announced that AFTRA members have reached a tentative agreement with the four major television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and other producers on terms for a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, aka, the “Front of the Book.” Negotiations began on Nov. 7, and were held at the offices of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

AFTRA members achieved their primary objective in this negotiation: a 1% increase in employer contributions to the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds upon ratification, which will bring the total H&R contribution rate to 16.5%. Upon ratification, the three-year agreement will run from Nov. 16, 2011 through Nov. 15, 2014.

Other highlights include:

  • Increase wages by 6% over the term of the agreement (2% each year) for most categories
  • Increase minimum hazard pay for Dancers from $80 to $100 per day, and from $100 to $125 per program
  • The $37.50 overtime rate for Singers will be paid starting at the 7th instead of the 9th hour
  • Increase the minimum work day for Stand-Ins who work on primetime variety and award shows, which will increase the minimum daily rate by 20% to 67%
  • Improved contract language to increase equal employment opportunities for union performers including an agreement to add “Gender Identity” to the Union’s  Paragraph 97 diversity report form

Read More »

Comments (0)
More Deadline | Hollywood »