AFTRA Members Ratify Network Television Code
LOS ANGELES (April 30, 2008) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) announced today 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.
“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.
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.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, is a national labor union of over 70,000 actors, singers and recording artists, dancers, announcers and other broadcast talent performers, journalists, and other artists working in the entertainment and news media. With more than 30 local chapters across the country, AFTRA promotes the success and welfare of members in a variety of ways, including contract negotiation and enforcement, advocating on legislative and public policy issues, supporting equal employment opportunities, and sponsoring or supporting health and retirement benefits and programs. For more information, visit http://www.aftra.com.