Los Angeles (January 14, 2011) – In national voting completed today, members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild voted overwhelmingly to approve a new, three-year contract covering theatrical and television production under the Producer-Screen Actors Guild Basic Agreement and Television Agreement, Exhibit A to the AFTRA Network Television Code and the CW Supplement, which applies to both unions.
AFTRA, SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement in November on the deal that provides increases in base rates, contributions to the unions’ benefits plans, expanded employment opportunities and other improvements for working performers.
Overall, the memberships of SAG and AFTRA voted 93.52 percent to 6.48 percent in favor of the new agreement. Ballots were mailed to 137,437 members of AFTRA and SAG, of which 25.09 percent returned them. The final vote was certified by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington.
Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard said, "The success of the referendum is a huge boon for members in terms of pension and healthcare contributions. We have the input of our members and the dedication of our SAG negotiating team to thank for the outcome.”
AFTRA President Roberta Reardon said, “This ratification is a win for union members and it is a critical victory for our health and retirement plans. I thank the working AFTRA and SAG members who served on the negotiating committee for leading us through to a strong agreement that the memberships of both unions have endorsed and approved.”
The new pact goes into effect on July 1, 2011 and will remain in force until June 30, 2014.
The unions began talks with the AMPTP on September 27. A joint AFTRA-SAG negotiating committee of 26 individuals – all of whom are members of both unions – participated daily in the talks. Leading the negotiations for the unions were Presidents Reardon and Howard, along with chief negotiators David White, the national executive director of SAG, and Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, the national executive director of AFTRA.
Members voted on the tentative agreement that had been reached with the AMPTP industry on Nov. 7 and overwhelmingly recommended by the SAG-AFTRA Joint National Board in a meeting on Dec. 4. Ballots were mailed on Dec. 10 to all eligible members in good standing of both unions. Due to the holidays, the customary voting period was extended from three to five weeks.
For further information on the new contract, including a summary of the agreement and the entire presentation viewed by the joint national board, go to SAG.org and www.aftra.com.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital television programs, motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.
Follow SAG Communications on Twitter (twitter.com/sagnews) and Facebook (facebook.com/screenactorsguild)
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.
Follow AFTRA Communications on Twitter and Facebook at http://twitter.com/AFTRA and http://www.facebook.com/aftrafanpage