Since 1937, broadcasters have joined together through SAG-AFTRA to protect their ability to earn a living, to defend standards of professionalism, and to elevate working conditions in an extremely challenging industry.
SAG-AFTRA protects individuals so they can provide their audiences and communities with the quality news coverage and programming they deserve and expect from a trusted broadcast professional.
SAG-AFTRA is a diverse national labor union representing more than 160,000 performers and journalists working in the news media and entertainment industry. They are the people who entertain and inform America. SAG-AFTRA’s broadcast members work as reporters, anchors, program hosts, DJs, news writers, editors, producers, and the like. SAG-AFTRA members work across the country, in markets large and small, at radio and television stations at the local, regional and national level as well as on the Internet, mobile and out-of-home platforms.
SAG-AFTRA represents you by negotiating and enforcing strong contracts, by advocating for members on legislative and public policy issues that directly affect members’ wages and working conditions, and by promoting standards of professionalism in a challenging industry. As an individual, it’s often difficult to stand up for fair treatment and professional integrity in the workplace; but with the combined strength of more than 160,000 professional members of SAG-AFTRA, you can ensure the protection of your rights.
You Have a Voice at Work
Whether you’re a seasoned broadcast professional or someone who is new to the industry, you have an invaluable skill set and a vision that enables you to accurately report the news and portray society in a way that helps us better understand who we are as a community. Your employers are obligated to turn a profit, and sometimes that obligation creates conflicting purposes with your vision. When you become affiliated with SAG-AFTRA, your voice will be heard and your opinion will matter. Unlike non-union professionals, you will have greater protection when standing up for your personal standards of professionalism and you will play a critical role in the success of your station or network.
Contract Enforcement and Negotiation
SAG-AFTRA uses the collective power of members to negotiate strong contracts that guarantee minimum (but never maximum) salaries, safe working conditions, and health and retirement benefits. SAG-AFTRA is at the forefront of bargaining with employers regarding new technologies that have inherent implications on the workload of our members. When the union is unable to resolve disputes with employers, SAG-AFTRA contracts include procedures for binding arbitration. The cost of these proceedings is paid by the union.
Legislative Protections and Advocacy
SAG-AFTRA does not make political endorsements, or contribute to election campaigns. However, SAG-AFTRA has an effective program to engage elected leaders on issues that directly affect broadcasters’ wages and working conditions. On issues such as ownership consolidation in the broadcast industry, Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations, health and safety issues, and opposing “non-compete” restrictions in employment contracts, SAG-AFTRA works on the federal, state, and local level to ensure that broadcasters’ voices are heard on important legislative and public policy issues.
Health and Retirement
In many cases, SAG-AFTRA contracts provide for participation in the AFTRA Health and Retirement Plan, which provides health insurance and a defined benefit pension plan to participants. SAG-AFTRA supports the welfare of its members through benefits and programs sponsored or supported by the union. AFTRA Health and Retirement Plan was the first multi-employer health and retirement plan in the industry. The Health Fund provides comprehensive medical and hospital benefits, a dental plan, a prescription drug program, as well as mental health and substance abuse programs. The Retirement Fund is portable, so that if you leave a station where you’ve got AFTRA H&R coverage to go work at another employer with AFTRA H&R coverage, your health coverage will be uninterrupted, and you’ll continue to earn vesting and pension credits toward a secure retirement.
Personal Service Contract Consultation
SAG-AFTRA regularly provides personal service contract consultation. Whether or not you have legal or agency representation, SAG-AFTRA’s professional staff will provide you – at no cost – with an analysis of your employment contract, and an explanation of how that agreement intersects with the union contract in your workplace.
Member Education and Outreach
SAG-AFTRA provides broadcasters with the necessary tools, education and support needed to pursue their careers with security and dignity through member education classes, seminars, showcases, panels and industry event discounts.