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SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Three-Year Deal with Producers

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The SAG-AFTRA national board of directors met by videoconference yesterday and approved the tentative three-year agreement reached earlier this month with the AMPTP. With the board’s approval, the deal covering film, TV and new media production now goes to the performers guild membership for ratification.

Though not quite a slam dunk, the 67.61% to 32.39% SAG-AFTRA board vote constitutes a “super majority,” avoiding the requisite inclusion of a minority report in the recommendation to ratify – though one will still be included, the guild said.

Increased SAG-AFTRA scale wages and residuals

The tentative deal includes a 2.5% wage increase in the first year, and 3% increase in the second and third years of the agreement, according to SAG-AFTRA. Those increases will be subject to retroactive payments back to July 1 if the membership ratifies the agreement, and are in keeping with entertainment payroll increases secured by other above the line guilds.

Additional wins for guild members touted by SAG-AFTRA include a 26% increase in residuals for fixed streaming residuals over the first three years of availability for high-budget programs on subscription platforms, along with a sizable increase in health plan funding over the course of the agreement with the AMPTP, increased performer protections for nudity and simulated sex scenes, and a move from fixed to revenue-based residuals on syndication deals.

The guild also negotiated for improved formulas for foreign streaming residuals in year two of the agreement, as well as a more lucrative overtime calculation for weekly Schedule H-II stunt performers on episodic TV series, one additional covered background position for West Coast episodic production, and increases to money and schedule breaks.

“We achieved unprecedented increases in residuals in the fastest-growing category, we secured ground-breaking protections for members in the areas of nudity, simulated sex and sexual harassment, and we strengthened our benefit plans,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White.

Historic protections for SAG-AFTRA performers in scenes of nudity and simulated sex

According to SAG-AFTRA, the new protections for its guild performers (both principal and background for most) include clarity on the authorized use of digital doubles and digitization, stricter safeguards at auditions and interviews; a 48-hour review period for riders; better “closed set” definitions, prohibitions on digital device recordings and access to a “cover up, such as a bathrobe.”

Residuals formula update on syndicated TV product

For the new residuals formula on syndicated programs, SAG-AFTRA clarified that any product on an existing license will continue to pay residuals under the current fixed residual formula through both the duration of the license and any extensions, while for new licenses, the fixed residual will be replaced with a revenue-based residuals model.

The guild said the tentative deal also eliminates the advance payment of residuals for future syndication for performer contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2020… a significant financial protection for performers.

SAG-AFTRA ratification vote next

The ratification vote will be conducted online per an earlier board resolution, though paper ballots are available to eligible SAG-AFTRA voting members on request. The deadline for voting is July 22 at 5pm PT.

If ratified by the guild membership, the new SAG-AFTRA contract will be effective retroactively from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023.

Need SAG-AFTRA scale rates? Visit our FREE Showbiz Labor Guide.

IATSE Reaches New 3-Year Deal with AMPTP

AMPTP_LogoA negotiating unit for below-the-line crew members reached agreement with the AMPTP on a tentative new three-year deal covering film and television production in Los Angeles, it was announced today. Neither IATSE nor the studios are releasing terms of the new Hollywood Basic Agreement as of yet.

If approved by the union membership, the pact will go into effect August 1, 2015, just after the current agreement expires. Early resolution of contract talks can give local production a shot in the arm, as producers and financiers avoid the worry of any work stoppage in the near future.

“I am pleased we were able to reach an agreement that provides industry stability and meaningful terms and benefits to the membership,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb.

“The industry is pleased we have reached a new agreement with IATSE months before the contract expires,” stated AMPTP President Carol Lombardini. “With the tentative agreement in place, our member companies can immediately begin planning production for the future with certainty.”

The negotiated deal will next be sent to the IATSE national board for approval. If it passes there, the next step would be member ratification vote.

DGA Talks with Film/TV Producers Set for November 4

The DGA and AMPTP will enter into formal talks for a new collective bargaining agreement on November 4, 2013. According to a joint statement, the negotiations will be held at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, CA under a press blackout. The DGA – which represents directors, assistant directors, UPM’s and technical coordinators – has often reached agreement with the studios in relatively short order once talks have started. Of the three major Hollywood above-the-line talent guilds, the one that negotiates first in a given contract cycle has historically set the unofficial “template” for agreements with the other two. In the latest round of talks three years ago, when the DGA again negotiated first, that template included 2% wage increases and language addressing new media programming and playback.

The WGA has the first agreement to expire, in May 2014, while the DGA and SAG-AFTRA contracts don’t expire until the end of June. Once an agreement has been agreed to by both sides, it will go to the DGA’s national board for review, and if approved will be sent to membership for a ratification referendum.

IATSE Reaches New 3-Year Tentative Agreement with AMPTP

IATSEIATSE today announced a tentative new three-year deal with film and TV producers represented by the AMPTP, well in advance of the July 31 expiration of the Hollywood Basic Agreement. The pact, which still requires membership ratification, calls for a 2% wage increase for IATSE crew members in each of the three years of the contract.

The main issue in negotiations, which had broken off once before, was pension and health benefits. A projected $350-$500 million contribution shortfall over the next three years would have threatened the pension and health plan from the MPIPHP, according to the union. Negotiators agreed to a $1 per hour increase to the health plan contribution from employers, a 20% raise over the $5 per hour currently being paid.

For their side, IATSE member participants with dependents will now pay a health plan premium: $25 per month for one dependent, $50 per month for two or more. Member participants without dependents will continue to pay zero premium, according to the union.

The parties agreed to shift 30.5 cents per hour from the Individual Account Plan to the Active Health Plan in order to help stabilize it. IATSE International President Matt Loeb pointed out that moneys had been reallocated from the health plan to the IAP in the past, and that a re-balancing was necessary at this time.

IATSE also agreed to expand the Studio Zone to be in line with other industry unions and guilds, and confirmed a long standing practice of promoting basic cable TV production in Los Angeles.

Negotiations took place over the course of more than three weeks, and though they had broken off once, the second round of talks generated a tentative agreement in one day. IATSE’s negotiating committee approved the new deal unanimously; it will next be sent to union members for ratification.

“The second round of negotiations has resulted in a fair deal that will provide employment stability, protect our health and pension plans and provide for wage increases in a fragile economy,” said Loeb in a letter to IA members.

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