MYTH: Non-union commercials pay well enough to make a living.
FACT: On average, union commercials easily pay 10 times more than non-union commercials. Here are three actual non-union commercials, compared to three similar union jobs.
MYTH: Pre-members earn a lot working non-union.
FACT: A 2014 survey of 1,100 pre-member performers revealed that the vast majority earn very little. Over 80% earned less than $10,000 per year and only 5% earned a decent living. These performers are also very concerned about the lack of pension and health benefits of non-union work.
MYTH: Agents make more commission by booking clients on non-union commercials.
FACT: Let’s do the math. Even if an agent were capable of negotiating a commission as high as 40% on $2,000 for a non-union commercial, they would still only earn $800 in commissions. But, a commission at 10% on a union job which pays $16,894 means the agent collects $1,689.40 in commissions.* We can help agents and each other by expanding union jobs.
MYTH: I’m better off staying non-union because of the work opportunities.
FACT: If you’re serious about your career, staying non-union means being exploited longer. There is a lot going on. Our union has launched a major initiative to grow commercial work opportunities under our contracts, working directly with industry professionals and strategically targeting employers around the country.
MYTH: Nothing is being done about the growth of non-union commercial work.
FACT: There is a lot going on. Our union has launched a major initiative to grow commercial work opportunities under our contracts, working directly with industry professionals and strategically targeting employers around the country. Join our campaign at SAGAFTRA.org/BestInTheBiz to learn how you can help.
* BASED ON ACTUAL UNION AND NON-UNION EARNINGS