AFTRA Board Selects Los Angeles Actor Matt Kimbrough
as Trustee for AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds
Directors also Approve New Agreement with Nickelodeon
PHILADELPHIA (July 18, 2007)—The Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—at its two-day plenary meeting prior to the biennial National Convention starting on Thursday—elected Los Angeles actor Matt Kimbrough to serve as a Trustee of the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds.
Kimbrough was selected to replace former AFTRA National President John Connolly on the Funds’ board. Kimbrough has served as AFTRA National Recording Secretary and a member of the AFTRA Los Angeles Local Board.
The AFTRA H&R; Funds provide retirement and health benefits to participants who qualify based on their employment under AFTRA negotiated contracts. Created in 1954 by agreements between AFTRA and radio and television companies and producers, the Funds were the nation’s first multi-employer pension and health plans to benefit performers and broadcasters.
In addition, a new system-wide agreement with the production arm of the Nickelodeon cable TV network was approved by the AFTRA Board of Directors.
“Over the last 17 years, AFTRA members have taken Nickelodeon from being a non-union network to one with almost full coverage by AFTRA contracts with strong union standards for all performers,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “This agreement is a tremendous step forward.”
The new agreement brings substantial rate increases for Nickelodeon performers—in some cases more than doubling fees—and expands programs covered under the contract to include all dramatic and comedy variety shows.
In particular, the new agreement with Nickelodeon:
• Expands coverage by the contract to include all dramatic and comedy-variety programming--and can be applied to other non-dramatic programs and made available to third-party producers.
• Increases employer contribution to the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds from 11% to between 14.3% and 14.8%.
• Establishes replay payments for use of programming on the Internet and other electronic media.
In other action at the meeting, which was the first full plenary presided over by Reardon after succeeding interim president Bob Edwards, the National Board:
• Extended expiration of the Network Radio Code from November 15, 2007, to January 31, 2008, to be coterminous with the Network Television Code.
• Affirmed the appointment by Reardon of actors Ed Fry of New York and Andrew Caple-Shaw of Los Angeles to be co-chairs of the New Media Committee.
The National Board meets again on Sunday following the conclusion of the three-day AFTRA 70th Anniversary National Convention beginning on Thursday.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society--from new culture to new technology--and incorporate change in our work and craft. AFTRA celebrates and thrives on the diversity of our members and the work we do. AFTRA opens a whole new world of opportunities for success for professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.