aftra network code 






It was announced April 30, 2008, that AFTRA members ratified the Network Television Code by an overwhelming 93.35% approval.

The AFTRA Network Code agreement covers actors and all on-camera and off-camera talent on all forms of television programming: reality shows, syndicated dramas, daytime serials, game shows, talk shows, variety and musical programs, news, sports, and promotional announcements. Programs covered by the Code include “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” “20/20,” “The View,” “The Tonight Show,” “Oprah,” “The Price is Right,” “Deal or No Deal,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Days of Our Lives,” “All My Children,” “Cake,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Entertainment Tonight,” and “Survivor,” among others.

  “It was my honor to represent the daytime community at the table for our Network Code negotiation. We made great economic strides for daytime players with solid increases in program fees, as well as ensuring that actors with running parts get quicker payment for additional work days on a single episode.”
Hillary B. Smith, Actor
One Life to Live

“The membership vote overwhelmingly affirms the hard work of the AFTRA members who served on the Negotiating Committee that achieved gains for all performers,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “The new Code provides increased wages, improved working conditions, and stronger protections for AFTRA members working across all program formats, as well as new provisions to cover reuse and production of content in new media as it evolves.”

Improvements in the new Code include:

Increases in program fees in all categories of performers and program formats
Starting November 2008, initial rates for principals on non-prime time dramatic programs will track prime time one-day, three-day and weekly rates
New day rates for dancers have been negotiated for certain program formats
New terms for reuse of programming in new media, and the production of material made directly for new media, with improved disclosure in information to be provided to the union during the next two years
 Increased contributions to the Health and Retirement Plans
 Retroactive pay increases of up to 3.5% for most performers from November 16, 2007

Negotiations between members of AFTRA’s 35-person Negotiating Committee and the networks and producers began February 19 in Los Angeles, and were concluded on the evening of Saturday, March 8 in New York. The agreement received unanimous approval by the AFTRA National Board approval on March 29. The new three-year pact is effective from November 16, 2007 to November 15, 2010.

Network TV Code Achieves Gains for Performers
“I am pleased to report that AFTRA has reached a new agreement with the four major television networks and producers on terms for a renewal of the AFTRA Network Television Code,” reports Roberta Reardon, AFTRA National President and Negotiation Chair. Her special report on the new agreement—unanimously approved by the National Board—continues here>>
Summary of Achievements in New Agreement

The new Network Code provides solid increases in program fees, security for our Health and Retirement plans, and addresses working conditions affecting almost every category of performer. Here’s a summary including New Media provisions>>

“To my fellow actors in the crazy world of daytime drama I can honestly say that we were extremely well represented by an extraordinary staff and a dedicated committee of AFTRA members from all parts of this business. Each proposal was met with full on drive and professionalism. Each fully discussed, argued, and fought for. We gained some ground here and there. We successfully held back a couple of proposals from the other side that would have put some of our basic rights in jeopardy. We have much to be thankful for.”
Robert Newman, Actor
The Guiding Light


Members Voting to Approve 2007-2010 Contract
A letter from AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon and AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and summary of the new agreement were included in ballots sent to members to approve the Network TV Code. Here’s the letter and summary (603 KB download)>>

Anatomy of a Deal
Here’s the story of how working AFTRA members achieved big gains in negotiations with employers for a new agreement as told in news releases and statements:

• National Board Extends Network Television Code to January 31 (April 30, 2007)>>
AFTRA Members Begin to Develop Proposals for TV Network Code Negotiations (September 10, 2007)>> 
• AFTRA Postpones Start of Network Code Negotiations (January 11, 2008)>>
• Network TV Code Negotiations Began February 19, 2008
Tentative Agreement Reached on Network TV Code (March 9, 2008)>>
• National Board Unanimously Voted to Approve AFTRA Network TV Code and Recommended the Agreement in a Mail Referendum Ballot to the Entire AFTRA Membership (March 29, 2008)
• Ratification Ballots Mailed to AFTRA Members in Good Standing to Vote YES to Approve the Network TV Code (April 9, 2008)

More than 70% of Network Programming is Covered by Network TV Code
Formally known as the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, the Network TV Code covers actors and all on-camera and off-camera talent on all forms of television programming: syndicated dramas, daytime serials, game shows, talk shows, variety and musical programs, news, sports, reality shows, and promotional announcements. Programs covered by the Code include diverse programs such as Good Morning America, 20/20, American Idol, The View, The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Oprah, The Price is Right, Deal or No Deal, Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, All My Children, Cake, Saturday Night Live, Entertainment Tonight, and Survivor. AFTRA primetime network TV dramas and situation comedies – such as Rules of Engagement, Cashmere Mafia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Flight of the Conchords, Dante’s Cove, and Til Death – are covered by Exhibit A of the Network Code; negotiations for this agreement are set to begin Monday, May 5. AFTRA’s current primetime television contract expires June 30, 2008.