Message to Members Regarding the 2009 Television & Radio Commercials Contracts, April 30, 2009

Message to Members Regarding the 2009 Television & Radio Commercials Contracts, April 30, 2009

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD / AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS


April 30, 2009

2009 Television & Radio Commercials Contracts

Dear SAG and AFTRA Members:

Your Joint SAG/AFTRA National Board of Directors is pleased to recommend for your YES vote, the terms of new three-year successor agreements to the 2006 SAG Television Commercials Contract and the 2006 AFTRA Television and Radio Commercials Contracts. You will find details about the new agreements in this packet, and we urge you to review the materials and vote YES to approve the deal.

Your Joint SAG/AFTRA Negoti ati ng Committee—comprised of 26 working performers from around the nation—and the Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies achieved this agreement over 6-weeks of thoughtful and deliberate bargaining.

This proposed contract was the result of input from hundreds of members in both unions, many of whom participated in joint Wages and Working Conditions meetings across the country. It includes an estimated $90 million in increases for performers – on-camera actors, voice-over performers, singers, dancers, choreographers, stunt persons and extras over the three-year term of the agreement.

The tentative agreement protects the existing Class A residuals structure and the unions’ current editing provisions. It provides that a pilot study will be conducted to better understand the realities of how a Gross Ratings Points (GRP) compensation model would work in comparison to the current contract residuals payment structure. Implementati on of any such model may only occur aft er bargaining between the unions and the industry.

Additionally, your joint negotiating team won a substantial increase in contributions to the AFTRA Health & Retirement and Screen Actors Guild Pension & Health Funds, the total anticipated net gain of which is estimated at approximately $24 million over the three-year term of the agreements.

Your SAG and AFTRA joint member negotiating team along with the Joint Board of Directors strongly recommend a YES vote on this agreement that, if approved, will:

  • Increase by more than $36 million actor wages and other payments for all categories of performers in the first year of the contracts.
  • Add approximately $24 million in increased contributions to the SAG Pension & Health Plan and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund.
  • Protect the existing Class A residual payment structure.
  • Increase the AFTRA Radio Commercials Contract by 5.35 percent, including contributions to the AFTRA Health & Retirement and its portion of the Industry Cooperative Fund.
  • Increase by 5.5 percent overall wages and other compensation over the life of the SAG and AFTRA
    Television Commercials Contracts.
  • Increase by 4.43 percent Class A, wild spot, and basic cable session fees, retroactive to April 1, 2009.
  • Increase wages for Internet or new media use of broadcast and cable commercials to 1.3 times the
    minimum session fee for eight weeks’ use and 3.5 times the minimum session fee for one year’s use.
  • Effective in the third year of the contract, establish the same minimum compensation structure as noted above for original commercials made for the Internet and other new media platforms. And also, establish minimum session compensation for extra performers equal to their broadcast and cable rates.
  • No changes to the existing editing provisions.
  • Increase the employer contribution rate to 15 percent for the SAG Pension & Health and AFTRA Health & Retirement plans and an additional .5 percent to the IACF/AICF. The agreement provides for a cap on Pension & Health and Health & Retirement contributions, effective in year three, of $1 million per performer, per contract, per year.
  • Increase work opportunities for extras, securing five new covered jobs for this category of actors.
  • Establish new holding fee provisions for made-for cable-only commercials.
  • Institute, for the first time, a contract provision to pay extras a round-trip mileage fee of $8.
  • Increase foreign use payments under the Spanish-language section of the contract.
  • Address all of the unions’ proposals regarding diversity issues.

Please review the Summary of Terms carefully.

WE BELIEVE THIS IS A GOOD AND FAIR CONTRACT AND WE URGE YOU TO VOTE YES.



In solidarity,


The Joint SAG/AFTRA Nati onal Board of Directors

Alan Rosenberg
National President
Screen Actors Guild
Roberta Reardon
National President, AFTRA and
Co-Chair, Joint AFTRA-SAG Negotiating Committee
John T. McGuire
Chief Negotiator
Screen Actors Guild
Mathis L. Dunn Jr.
Assistant National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator
AFTRA
David P. White
Interim National Executive Director
Screen Actors Guild
Kim Roberts Hedgpeth
National Executive Director
AFTRA