SAG-AFTRA Ratifies 2014 TV and Theatrical Contracts

David White, SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator
David White, SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator
 AP Images

SAG-AFTRA members voted overwhelmingly to approve the 2014 TV/Theatrical Contracts, the union announced Friday. Members approved new three-year contracts covering theatrical, primetime, and basic cable television production under the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement and the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement by a vote of 92.12 percent to 7.88 percent. The new television contract establishes the first industrywide agreement covering performers in both primetime television and basic cable productions.

SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement in July on the deal that provides:

* Gains of $200 million in wages;

* An 8.5 percent wage increase compounding to 8.7 percent: specifically, 2.5 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third year;

* Advances in Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) coverage, including a brand-new residual for on-demand viewing;

* Reduction of unpaid online streaming windows for most shows; and

* An increased contribution rate percentage to benefits plans and a mechanism to facilitate the merger of the health plans.

The agreement covers television programs, motion pictures and new media productions.

Informational voting cards were mailed to approximately 137,000 members of SAG-AFTRA, 16 percent of whom voted. The final vote was certified by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Wash.

SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said, “Once again, we have made history. With the approval of the first-ever SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement, we have reached yet another of the goals we set when we merged. I am thankful to all members who participated throughout this process and the dedicated staff of SAG-AFTRA who worked to insure our new contract would usher us into the next generation of entertainment and new media production.”

SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator David White said, “This is a terrific result for our first TV/Theatrical negotiation as a merged union. I want to thank the SAG-AFTRA members and staff who dedicated their time and tireless effort to these negotiations. We emerged with solid financial gains and with a structural foundation that supports the union's strategic goals well into the future.”

The AMPTP said in a statement, “We congratulate Ken Howard, David White, the SAG-AFTRA Bargaining Committee and Board for their leadership in achieving ratification of the new theatrical and television agreements. Together, we undertook the historic step of creating a unified television contract and set the stage for expanding market opportunities that benefit both the union and the companies. We look forward to our continued partnership with SAG-AFTRA to address the challenges and complexities of our industry during the term of the new agreements.”

The agreement becomes effective retroactive to July 1, 2014 and will remain in force through June 30, 2017.

SAG-AFTRA began talks with the AMPTP on May 5, 2014. The tentative agreement was reached with the AMPTP on July 4 and overwhelmingly recommended by the SAG-AFTRA National Board in a meeting on July 12.

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