SAG, AFTRA set talks


The tension between SAG and AFTRA appears to be lessening again.

SAG national executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen on Tuesday released a timeline in which the guild and AFTRA would meet on March 25 and 26 to discuss wages and working conditions proposals.

SAG and AFTRA will then meet at a national board meeting set for March 29 in Los Angeles to discuss the proposals and develop a package for negotiations on their primetime contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

AFTRA indicated that for the first time it is working together with SAG and not "merely co-hosting" wages and working conditions meetings, as its chair Matt Kimbrough had stated this month.

AFTRA has been pushing for talks to start as early as possible with the AMPTP on the primetime contract, which expires June 30. It has already successfully negotiated with the major networks its Network TV code contract, which covers actors and all on-camera and off-camera talent on all forms of TV programming, including syndicated dramas, daytime serials, game shows, talk shows, variety and musical programs, news, sports, reality shows and promotional announcements.

SAG has indicated it is on schedule to meet with the AMPTP formally in April.

The timeline appears to put the two unions back on track. Earlier this month, a new rift began to form with Kimbrough's statement followed by a letter by AFTRA president Roberta Reardon to SAG president Alan Rosenberg, which indicated AFTRA intended to go forward with the process with or without SAG and set a March 10 deadline for SAG to confirm its intention to continue on.

Though the timeline comes a day after the deadline, SAG has not issued a formal response to AFTRA's request. The adjusted timeline is a result of a regularly scheduled meeting of SAG's national executive board and was coordinated with AFTRA.