AFTRA, Nick in 6-year pact

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AFTRA has a new networkwide agreement with Nickelodeon.

After a plenary meeting preceding today's start of its annual convention in Philadelphia, the union said Wednesday that it has struck a six-year pact with the Viacom-owned network.

"Over the last 17 years, AFTRA members have taken Nickelodeon from being a nonunion network to one with almost full coverage by AFTRA contracts with strong union standards for all performers," AFTRA president Roberta Reardon said. "This agreement is a tremendous step forward."

The agreement brings "substantial" rate increases for Nickelodeon performers, officials said. In some cases, performers will see fees increased 100%, they said.

The pact expands on previous agreements to cover all dramatic and comedy variety shows. It also provides increases in employer contribution to the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds from a previous 11% to between 14.3% and 14.8%.

AFTRA has had a networkwide agreement at Nickelodeon since 1997 and previously struck pacts there show by show.

The contract also establishes "replay payments for use of programming on the Internet and other electronic media," AFTRA said without elaboration.

In other action at the meeting, the board approved a move to extend the AFTRA's Network Radio Code from Nov. 15 to Jan. 31.

Directors also selected Matt Kimbrough to serve as a trustee of the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds. Kimbrough was selected to replace former AFTRA 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.
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