Los Angeles (July 7, 2006) - Successfully negotiating the second collective bargaining agreement of his new administration, Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg today announced the Guild has reached a deal with producers on a new contract covering live action shows produced directly for basic cable television (e.g. The Shield on FX, Monk on USA). Rosenberg, who chaired the negotiations for the Guild, said the new agreement includes a 21 percent increase in residuals retroactive to January 1, 2006. The contract, approved today by the Guild's National Executive Committee, expires on June 30, 2008.
The Guild and its member-led negotiating committee began bargaining with producers in January 2006 with the major goals of increasing the top and bottom end of the residuals formula in the contract to reflect the tremendous growth of the basic cable industry over the past 16 years. Under the new contract, the residuals formula for the first re-run increases from 12 to 17 percent of the performer's minimum for live action programs made directly for basic cable, with the bottom end increasing from 1 to 1.5 percent of the minimum for the 13th and each subsequent run retroactive to January 1, 2006. In addition to the overall 21 percent retroactive increase in residuals, payments for the first, second, third and fourth re-runs will be paid in one lump sum when the first re-run airs-meaning a larger check for actors, which will include accelerated and guaranteed payment for the second, third and fourth re-runs even if they never air.
"The sole priority in these negotiations was to achieve a residuals increase for the actors who do this work, and we accomplished that," said Rosenberg. "For many members of Screen Actors Guild these extra dollars mean the difference between whether or not they pay rent, qualify for health care or earn points toward their pensions. Make no mistake: these negotiations were lengthy and difficult. We worked long and hard to convey to producers just how much is at stake for our members. After 16 years of extraordinary growth in the cable TV industry, in which actors helped producers generate billions of dollars in profits, our members deserved a new contract that protects their health and pension plans and puts more money in their pockets to support their families. This agreement represents a victory for middle-class working actors. It increases residuals, a lifeline for actors, and gets more money up-front for our members who do this work."
This is the second agreement covering basic cable television reached by the Guild over the past few months. A new contract covering animated programs produced for basic cable was ratified by the Guild's national board on April 21. Sallie Weaver served as chief negotiator for both the animation and live action contracts for basic cable.