Los Angeles (April 21, 2006) – The Screen Actors Guild National Board today unanimously ratified the recently negotiated Basic Cable Animation agreement. The new contract, which goes into effect immediately, is retroactive to January 1, 2006 and will run through June 30, 2008.
The new agreement is a major victory for actors performing in animated programs made for basic cable. For the first time in 16 years, Guild negotiators secured a 20 percent increase in residuals. The increase reflects the typical run pattern for animated basic cable episodes produced by companies like Walt Disney Pictures & Television, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios – the initial run of an episode followed by an average of 25 repeats.
“This is a significant and well-deserved victory for the many actors who work under this contract, specifically day performers,” said Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg. “I’m proud of the work done by our negotiating committee and staff who were able to improve this contract for the first time in two decades. This demonstrates that producers and performers can work together to achieve results that benefit both sides and keep our industry moving forward.”
Because the new contract includes a June 30, 2008 expiration date, the Guild will have an opportunity to go back to the bargaining table in just over two years and potentially secure additional gains. The deal, which covers animated shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Boondocks, also has the potential to generate more covered work for Guild members through a new understanding that all animated production for basic cable done by Guild signatories will now be covered by this contract, as opposed to the previous industry practice of relying on single-production contracts.
The newly approved residuals formula for the first rerun of animated programs made directly for basic cable will increase from 12 to 17 percent of the voice performer’s minimum (currently $716 for a four-hour session), going down to 1.5 percent of the minimum for the 13th showing and each subsequent run. Since it is not uncommon for episodes of the most successful animated basic cable series to run 100 times or more in a year, an increase to 1.5 percent of the minimum for the 13th run, and each subsequent run, represents a substantial increase in potential income for Guild members.
Sallie Weaver served as the Guild’s chief negotiator, and Loren Lester served as the chair of its member-led negotiating committee. Bargaining began in January 2006.