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(Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Contract

(Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New ContractAs expected, the national board of SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly tonight to approve the terms of a new three-year film and TV contract. It now will go to the union’s 165,000 members for final ratification. The new contract had been unanimously recommended to the board by the union’s negotiating committee, which included SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard and National Executive Director David White. The board tonight voted 90% to 10% to approve the new contract, which achieved the major goal of the union going into the talks: the unification of its two separate television contracts.

Related: Guild Official: Merging SAG And AFTRA TV Deals Key Goal Of Talks

When SAG and AFTRA merged in 2012, the new union was stuck with two separate pension and health plans, and two separate TV contracts. The unification of the TV contracts, which guild leaders called “historic,” is considered a major milestone in the still-evolving merger of the two unions.

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WGA Members OK New Contract; Turnout Less Than 15%
DGA, Producers Reach Tentative Deal On Terms of New Contract

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SAG-AFTRA, Producers Reach Tentative Agreement On New Film & TV Contract

SAG-AFTRA, Producers Reach Tentative Agreement On New Film & TV ContractEXCLUSIVE: It’s a happy Fourth of July in Hollywood. After nearly two months of talks and three last-minute 24-hour extensions, a tentative agreement has been reached on a new three-year SAG-AFTRA film and television contract. Terms were not announced.

Here is the sides’ verbose joint statement: “Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) today reached tentative agreement for motion picture production. Negotiations, which began on May 5th, resulted in a new 2014 Producers-SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement and an industry-wide 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement as the successor agreement to Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, The CW Supplement, and the basic cable agreements. The terms of the new agreements will be presented to the SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors at its July 12 meeting.”

Related: DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Midnight Rider’ Criminal Charges, July 4th Holiday Box Office, SAG-AFTRA Talks Extended Again (Video)

The deal still must be ratified by the guild’s members. It replaces the old contract, which had been set to expire on June 30 but was extended to allow bargaining to continue. The ratification process will take several weeks to complete, during which time the terms of the old contract will remain in effect.

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WGA Members OK New Contract; Turnout Less Than 15%
DGA, Producers Reach Tentative Deal On Terms of New Contract

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SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks Extended Again, Will Resume Thursday

SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks Extended Again, Will Resume ThursdayNegotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract have adjourned for the night and will resume Thursday in the hope that an elusive deal can still be reached. The current contract had been set to expire on June 30 but now has been extended three times to allow bargaining to continue.

The sides issued a joint statement: “Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have jointly agreed to extend for a third day the current TV/Theatrical contracts, which are set to expire at midnight tonight. The extensions will expire at midnight on July 3, 2014. Negotiations will continue under the previously announced media blackout.”

Related: DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Tammy’ Kicks Off July 4th Holiday Box Office, ESPN Scores Again With World Cup Ratings, SAG-AFTRA Still Talking (Video)

While it was widely expected that SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations with the studios and networks would be more difficult and take longer than the other big Hollywood unions, few anticipated the talks would go past the expiration of the current contract. The DGA reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after just a few weeks of talks late last year. And while the WGA’s negotiations took longer and were more tense, the writers also reached an agreement with the studios and networks after … Read More »

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SAG-AFTRA Film And TV Contract Talks Extended Again

SAG-AFTRA Film And TV Contract Talks Extended AgainFor the second day in a row, negotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and television contract have adjourned without an agreement and the old contract has been extended for another day. The talks for a new three-year actors contract, which began May 5, will resume Wednesday morning.

The sides issued a joint statement: “The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have jointly agreed to extend for a second day the current TV/Theatrical contracts, which are set to expire at midnigh ttonight. The extensions  will expire at midnight on July 2, 2014.”

The parties had agreed late Monday to extend the talks for 24 hours in the … Read More »

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SAG-AFTRA Film & TV Talks Extended 24 Hours As Old Contract Set To Expire

SAG-AFTRA Film & TV Talks Extended 24 Hours As Old Contract Set To ExpireTalk about waiting for the last minute. After almost two months of talks on a new three-year film and TV contract, negotiators for the actors union and producers tonight extended their current contract and dealmaking attempts another 24 hours, both sides announced. Here’s the joint statement SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television just released:

Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have agreed to extend for 24 hours the current TV/Theatrical contracts set to expire at midnight tonight. The extensions are effective from 12:00 a.m. July 1, 2014 and expire at 11:59 p.m., July 1, 2014.

The extensions are effective for the Producers-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement, Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, The CW Supplement, all basic cable agreements that incorporate by reference the aforementioned contracts, and all associated schedules, exhibits, side letters and supplemental agreements now in force.

Negotiations will continue under the previously announced media blackout.

We have no further comment.

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Once the two … Read More »

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No Urgency In SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks As June 30 Deadline Looms

No Urgency In SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks As June 30 Deadline LoomsWith just two weeks to go before the current SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract expires, negotiations are continuing today with no apparent sense of urgency. The contract talks, which began May 5, have yet to convene on the weekends. “The offices are closed,” a security guard said Saturday at the AMPTP’s offices in Sherman Oaks, where the talks are being held. “There’s no one in there.”

SAG-AFTRA is cutting it much closer to the deadline than either the DGA or WGA did in their recent contract talks. The directors reached a deal a full 7½ months before their contract expired, and the writers reached a deal 29 days before their deal expired. Even if a deal for a new actors’ contract is reached this week, the ratification process could take a month to complete. The union’s board of directors would have to approve any deal first, and then ballots would be mailed to the union’s 247,000 members. Returning and counting the ballots would take several more weeks, pushing final ratification well beyond the expiration of the current pact.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Talks: What To Expect

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Guild Official: Merging SAG And AFTRA TV Deals Key Goal Of Ongoing Contract Talks

new SAG-AFTRA logoNegotiators for a new SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract have wrapped their second week of bargaining with six weeks to go before the current pact expires and no sign of an early deal. This is the first film and TV contract the union has negotiated since SAG and AFTRA merged in 2012, and one of its key goals is to bring their old contracts into alignment. “That’s what everyone has been talking about,” said a SAG-AFTRA official. “We’ve got to combine the contracts.”

Related: SAG-AFTRA Talks: What To Expect

The union actually is negotiating two separate TV contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers – one SAG’s and the other AFTRA’s, whose basic rates are 3.5% higher than SAG’s. “We want to bring the SAG contract up to AFTRA’s,” said the SAG-AFTRA official. “We certainly don’t want to lower AFTRA’s to SAG’s.” And that may just prove to be the toughest sticking point in these negotiations. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

NoahBiblical and Faith-Based Movies: In Hollywood to Stay?
By Anita Busch
After this weekend’s successful opening for Noahis there any doubt anymore that if Hollywood builds it, they will come?

 

Writers Rail As Talks Resume: A Deadline Survey
By Mike Fleming, Jr.
As talks are about to resume Monday on the final elements that many hope will lead to a new deal for the Writers Guild Of America, we wanted to lend some perspective and give voice to the TV and feature writers whose fortunes will be tied directly to the deal their union makes. Deadline spoke with 10 film and TV scribes and asked them the following questions: Read More »

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WGA: Why Gains, Lessons From 2008′s Strike Will Keep Hollywood From Another War

Editors Note: As talks resume Monday that many hope will lead to a new deal for the Writers Guild Of America, we wanted to lend some perspective and voice to the TV and feature writers whose fortunes will be tied directly to the deal their union makes. The following is a story by preeminent Hollywood labor reporter David Robb that attempts to answer what has been an elusive question: What, exactly did the writers gain from the last strike? After that, we will run five pointed questions from a panel of established and new writers of TV, features and both. They answer anonymously, sometimes provocatively, about the issues that worry them most as their work is monetized in this fast changing digital age. Hopefully other writers can weigh in in the comment thread. — MF 

Related:
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #1
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #2
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #3
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #4
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #5

writersstrikeAs negotiators prepare to return to the bargaining table Monday to resume talks for a new WGA contract, many in the industry who saw the crippling writers strike of 2007-08 as an avoidable debacle worry about the prospect of a repeat of that disastrous walkout. Based on the variables, that concern seems misplaced. While many who suffered the last time still remember the pain and wonder if the writers gained much of anything for all that strife, consider this: The gains in new media won by striking writers six years ago is a major reason it’s all but certain that writers won’t be standing under picket signs this spring.

Related: WGA & AMPTP “Very Close” To New Labor Deal

Nearly all the major issues for a new WGA contract already have been worked out in prior rounds of bargaining, leaving only options and exclusivity to be resolved. These are vitally important issues for writers, and in a philosophical sense some compare them to free agency in baseball that came from the players union and its membership fighting in the courts and on the picket line. Unhappy writers aren’t the most predictable bunch, but producers aren’t seeking any takeaways on these issues. Without any onerous rollbacks to crusade against, the chance of a strike over options and exclusivity is widely viewed as negligible. Expect a deal as soon as next week, with modest gains for writers in these areas.

Related: Why Options & Exclusivity Issue Is So Important To WGA

amptp-wgaAs to the long discussion of whether the writers gained anything else during that strike, I spent years covering showbiz labor unions and have observed you have to look far down the road for the answer. Past writers strikes are like forest fires: They can be very destructive and suffocating, but they’re a necessary mechanism to clear out the old brush — or an antiquated contract that hasn’t kept pace with the rapidly changing way people receive entertainment content. Nearly all past entertainment industry strikes have that one thing in common: They are the result of new technologies and the uncertainty created about the revenue streams they will deliver. Read More »

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UPDATE: AMPTP Responds To WGA West Plan To Go After Deadbeat Producers For Scribes’ Pay

wgaw__130208220853-200x112__130701180057__130917230333__130920203125UPDATE: 5:57 PM: Neither embracing nor directly rebuffing the WGA West’s new Late Pay Initiative, the AMPTP today said it will “pledge our cooperation” to the move. The parsed statement comes just weeks before the WGA and AMPTP are expected to sit down to start talks on a new contract — where money will be doing most of the talking. Here’s the statement: “We agree with the Writers Guild of America that writers should be paid on time. We pledge our cooperation to address compliance in this important area. We encourage the Guild to advise us of instances when writers have not received timely payments in accordance with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.”

PREVIOUS 4:13 PM Tuesday: Representatives of the Writers Guild of America West haven’t sat down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers yet to negotiate a new master contract, but it’s starting to look for more money for its members – money they’re owed. Today the guild started a new initiative “to address the chronic problem of late payment to screenwriters.” In an email from WGAW President Chris Keyser and Executive Director David Young sent out to members today and posted online, the guild says its “goal is to change the culture of late pay that persists in Hollywood.” The guild adds that “our intent with this initiative is to systematically track all theatrical script deliveries and payments, thereby eliminating the possibility that an individual member or agency can be singled out by employers.”

Related: WGA Sets Negotiating Committee For AMPTP Contract Talks
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