SAG, AFTRA Joint Board Recommends TV/Theatrical Deal
Membership Referendum Process to Begin on February 7
Los Angeles, California, January 29, 2005 - A joint board of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) today voted 71.4 percent to 28.6 percent to officially approve and recommend to its joint membership a new three-year TV/Theatrical deal reached on January 20 with studios and networks.
Following the vote, SAG President Melissa Gilbert and AFTRA President John Connolly issued the following joint statement: "The joint board today affirmed the recommendation of our Negotiating Committee to send this package valued at $200 million - the richest in our unions' history - out to the members for ratification. Ultimately, the members must analyze the package, review the pros and cons, and assess the environment in which this deal was made. That is as it should be, since it is their working lives that are at issue. Our goals, and those of the members on our Negotiating Committee, were to bargain the best deal possible and keep actors working uninterrupted for another three years. We are very proud to have accomplished what we set out to do on behalf of working performers."
Among the elements of the deal are:
● Increased wages for every category of performer
● Partnership with writers and directors to promote new scripted programs over reality TV
● Most significant expansion of jobs and wages for background actors in 13 years
● Protected residuals for WB, UPN actors
● Increase in residuals for made-for-pay TV
● Higher wages/better safeguards for stunt coordinators
● Major increases in employer contributions to pension and health plans
● Continuity of health benefits for series regulars whose shows are canceled
● Greater protections for dancers, and health and pension coverage for choreographers
● Acknowledgement and respect for performers with disabilities
In the interest of open and honest debate, and on the recommendation of Presidents Gilbert and Connolly, the joint board also approved the inclusion of pro and con statements of equal length in the referendum materials.
Ballots will be mailed to members on February 7 and must be received at the designated post office box no later than February 28.
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 nearly 120,000 working actors in film, television, industrials, commercials and music videos. 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 www.sag.org.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists -- affiliated with the AFL-CIO -- is a diverse national union representing nearly 80,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games and the Internet. More information on AFTRA is available at www.aftra.com.
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Seth Oster Rebecca Rhine
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