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Although terms were not released, the new SAG-AFTRA deal apparently unifies the union’s legacy SAG and AFTRA primetime television contracts, which have persisted despite a merger of the unions two years ago.
The previous contract expired at midnight on June 30, but was extended three times in 24-hour increments. The deal was announced an hour and a half after the third extension expired.
Negotiations resulted in a new 2014 Producers-SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement and an industry-wide 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement as the successor agreement to Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, the CW Supplement, and the basic cable agreements.
The terms of the new agreements will be presented to the SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors at its July 12 meeting.
In a separate development, the SAG Pension and Health Plan — a legally separate entity from the union and from the AFTRA plan — announced that actors whose earnings fall short of qualifying levels for the SAG and AFTRA health plans can now combine their SAG contract and AFTRA contract earnings in an attempt to qualify for SAG Plan II, the lesser of the two SAG health plans. The new eligibility took effect July 1 and would be based on the previous 12 months’ earnings, according to an explanation on the SAG Plan’s website.
The plan will not notify union members proactively of their eligibility, because it doesn’t know their AFTRA earnings. Instead, members have to apply.
The negotiations that produced today’s contract began May 5, 2014, and proceeded under a press blackout. The lead negotiator for the AMPTP was president Carol Lombardini. SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard chaired the union’s negotiating committee, and national executive director David White served as the organization’s chief negotiator.
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