SAG-AFTRA Board Signs David White to New Four-Year Contract

David White SAG Headshot - P 2014
AP Images

David White SAG Headshot - P 2014

The new deal expires Oct. 12, 2018

The SAG-AFTRA National Board on Sunday signed off on a new four-year contract for national executive director David White. The new deal expires Oct. 12, 2018, and appears to signal that White intends to stay at the helm of the union for some time to come. Earlier in the year, it became public that he was a candidate for the top job at the NBA Players Association, but the position ultimately went to another candidate.

Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“This job presents new challenges every day, and I am thrilled to continue in my role at SAG-AFTRA,” said White. “I want to thank President [Ken] Howard, our elected officers and national board members for their confidence in me. It’s an honor to represent SAG-AFTRA members, and I look forward to continuing the great work we have accomplished to date.”??

Added Howard: “I’m so pleased that we were able to secure a long-term commitment from David. He is a formidable strategic thinker and an outstanding executive. David is equally committed to wisely shepherding our operations and to ensuring good wages and safe working conditions for our members. We are lucky to have him and know we will continue to benefit from his leadership.”

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In other action, the national board also unanimously ratified the recently negotiated 2014 consolidated successor to the SAG-AFTRA TV Animation Agreement and SAG-AFTRA Basic Cable Animation Agreement. The new contract, which goes into effect immediately, are retroactive to July 1, 2014, and will run through June 30, 2017. It includes:

* Pay raises of 8.7 percent compounded over the next three years retroactive to Oct. 1 (the raises mirror the raises in the union's master TV Agreement and are 2.5 percent the first year and 3 percent in each of the following years)

* Increased contributions to the union’s pension & health / health & retirement funds

* A reduction in unpaid free streaming windows

* A new residual for free, ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) viewing via set-top box

Negotiations lasted three days, concluding on Sept. 9, and were directed for the union by lead negotiator and chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez and assistant national executive director, contracts Joan Halpern Weise.

In addition, the board unanimously approved proposals for the upcoming Network Television Code (Netcode) negotiations. Negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are scheduled to commence on Nov. 3, 2014, at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The current contract expires Nov. 15.

The Netcode, also referred to as the “front of book” to distinguish it from a provision, Exhibit A, that formerly covered primetime programming, covers syndicated dramatic programs, daytime serials (soap operas), promotional announcements, variety, quiz, game, reality, talk, news, sports and other non-dramatic programs. Howard will chair the Netcode negotiations and White will serve as the union’s chief negotiator. The proposal package was not released.

Exhibit A was subsumed by the consolidated master TV Agreement in the most recent triennial negotiations, but the front of book portions of the Netcode remain distinct.

Also, chief operating officer and general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland informed the board that the union had placed a new “Do Not Work” notice on the Esquire Network program The Getaway.

“Do Not Work notices are for the benefit of our members and are not issued lightly,” said Crabtree-Ireland. “These are final measures against an employer who has failed to sign a SAG-AFTRA agreement, making it clear that our members will not accept work from this employer until an agreement has been signed.”

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