What if I have agency questions related to SAG-covered employment?
For SAG-covered work, any Union member who engages the services of an agent is required to secure either:
- A SAG franchised agent
- An agent affiliated with the ATA or NATR
Choosing to be represented by any other agent outside of these two categories may place you in violation of Union rules and subject you to potential disciplinary action. If you are not sure about the status of your agent, please contact the Union office for assistance.
If any agent asks you to sign a contract whose terms do not mirror (or are better than) those in the standard SAG representation contract, you should do three things. First, you should attempt to negotiate terms and conditions that are similar to, or better than, those in the standard SAG agency agreement. The Union can assist you in this effort. Second, you should seek independent legal advice prior to signing. Third, you should immediately notify SAG-AFTRA’s Professional Representatives Department (in LA: 323-549-6745; in New York, 212-863-4230) and provide us with a copy of the document so that we may address any concerns that you may have. For broader questions, Members resident in the State of California may also contact the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement, at 510-285-3397 if you have questions or concerns about a document that you have been asked to sign. Members resident in the State of New York may contact the Department of Consumer Affairs, Complaint Division, at 212-487-4491.
If SAG-AFTRA’s National Board once again requires you to be represented solely by a franchised agent for SAG-covered work, you will likely not be immediately affected. If you have signed a GSA with your ATA/NATR agent, even if it does not conform to SAG’s standard agency representation agreement, you will be permitted to serve out the term of your pre-existing agreement with your ATA agency, without worrying about potentially violating Union rules. However, after your GSA expires, you may not re-sign with any agent that is not signed to the Screen Actors Guild Agency Regulations, Rule 16(g). If you have no current agency representation agreement when the Union once again requires you to be represented solely by a franchised agent for SAG-covered work, SAG-AFTRA will require you to secure the services of a franchised agent in order to fully comply with Union rules.
It may not be. Because some ATA/NATR agents have chosen not to sign performers to standard SAG agency contracts for SAG-covered work, the Union’s agency listings for these performers may no longer be accurate. When producers or other potential employers contact the Union’s “Actors to Locate” Department, searching for contact information for you, we can only release information that was last provided by you or your agent. If you have recently changed agents, if your standard SAG agency contract has expired, or if you have recently signed a “general services agreement” (or, “GSA) with an ATA/NATR agent, it is in your best interests to provide the Union with current agency contact information (i.e., let us know, in writing, who represents you so that employers may continue to reach you [or your designated representative] with any potential job opportunities). These updates may be faxed to us at (323) 549-6746, or, in New York, (212) 686-4925. The update form is available for download from the Member Services section of the website.
No. All membership rules remain in full force and effect, including the prohibition against Union members performing in non-Union productions.
Should you have any Agency-related questions for SAG-covered work, please do not hesitate to contact SAG-AFTRA’s Professional Representatives Department in L.A. (323) 549-6745, or in New York at (212) 863-4230. In addition, please continue to check the SAG-AFTRA web site for updated information on this and any other Union matters. Members resident in the State of California may contact the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards at (510) 285-3397, if you have any further questions or concerns about a document you have been asked to sign. Members who reside in the State of New York may contact the Department of Consumer Affairs, Complaint Division, at (212) 487-4491.
To all members represented by an ATA/NATR agency that have chosen to sign a General Services Agreement (or “GSA”) with their agent:
There has been some confusion among the SAG-AFTRA membership regarding the scope of application for General Services Agreements (“GSA”) that some of you have chosen to sign to memorialize your agency relationships with ATA/NATR agencies. Please note that while a GSA (a/k/a State-Approved Talent Agency Contract) may be signed in your relationship with an ATA/NATR agent for the purposes of legacy SAG-covered work (and, indeed, other areas outside of SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction), these contracts cannot be used to represent SAG-AFTRA members for legacy AFTRA-covered work. Accordingly, if your ATA/NATR agency is representing you for legacy AFTRA-covered work, and the parties wish to enter into a written agreement, they are required to execute standard legacy AFTRA contracts for representation. These union-negotiated contracts clarify commissionability rules as well as all other aspects of the agent-member relationship. Legacy AFTRA agency contracts can be downloaded free of charge here.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Professional Representatives Department at (323) 549-6745 or (212) 863-4230 if you have any questions regarding any aspect of your agency relationships. You can also reach Professional Representatives Department staff here: firstname.lastname@example.org