SAG-AFTRA Members Approve New Three-Year Commercials Contracts

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SAG-AFTRA Members Approve New Three-Year Commercials Contracts
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SAG-AFTRA Members Approve New Three-Year Commercials Contracts

LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2016) — SAG-AFTRA members have overwhelmingly approved successor television, audio and digital commercials contracts. The three-year contracts, negotiated with the advertising industry will result in more than $200 million in wage increases and other payments for all categories of performers and an increase in the pension, health and retirement contribution rates, among other gains. In national voting completed today, the membership of SAG-AFTRA voted 92.25 percent in favor of the new agreements.

SAG-AFTRA President and Negotiating Committee Co-Chair Gabrielle Carteris said, “The commercials contracts help protect the working conditions, livelihood and pension, health and retirement benefits of thousands of our members. The robust participation in this ratification vote demonstrates how SAG-AFTRA’s future is driven from our members up to the elected leadership. I want to thank the members who voted and congratulate our negotiating team, including co-chair Sue-Anne Morrow and our negotiators, David White and Ray Rodriguez, on a job well done.”

Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington, facilitated the voting and certified the final count. The new contracts go into effect immediately, retroactive to April 1, 2016, and remain in force until March 31, 2019.

The highlights of the new contracts include:

  •       Over $200 million in wage increases and other payments for all categories of performers;
  •       Strategic expansion to the definition of a commercial that will help protect the contract’s coverage in the area of digital;
  •       7-percent upfront increase in wages;
  •       1.2-percent increase in the P&H/H&R contribution rates
  •       6 percent increase in national cable use fees in addition to the general increase
  •       2-percent increase in Class A use fees in addition to the general increase;
  •       Increases to internet and new media use fees ranging from 6.25 percent to 16.7 percent in addition to the general increase;
  •       New protections for minors to ensure set teacher ID and proper credentials are provided;
  •       New rate for stand-ins at 110 percent of the general extra rate; and
  •       Recognition of Veteran’s Day as a contractual holiday.

The 2016 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contracts memorandums of agreement can be found here.

SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee Co-Chair Sue-Anne Morrow said, “Our members working in digital advertising can rest easy knowing that we secured an excellent deal that protects all aspects of their work in new media. The new elements that we secured in our contract make this agreement even more relevant in a rapidly changing industry.”

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White said, “This deal guarantees the expansion of work opportunities for our members as the advertising industry continues its transformation in the digital age. I want to thank the negotiating committee and its co-chairs Gabrielle Carteris and Sue-Anne Morrow, as well as our negotiating team and staff. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

During its April 9-10 meeting, the SAG-AFTRA National Board unanimously approved the tentative commercials agreements. Approximately 133,000 eligible members were mailed a postcard on April 18 with instructions and a PIN number on how to vote online or how to request a paper ballot — 13 percent cast ballots. Votes (electronically or by mail) had to be received by the deadline of May 9, 2016, 5 p.m. PDT.

Formal negotiations between the 33-member (17 seated members and 16 alternates) SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee and the ANA-4A’s Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations (JPC) began Feb. 17 and concluded April 3 at 3:05 a.m. EDT, in New York. SAG-AFTRA was represented by Carteris, Morrow, White, Co-Lead Negotiators Ray Rodriguez and Mathis Dunn, and Senior Advisor John McGuire.

The JPC was represented by Lead Negotiator Douglas J. Wood, Stacy Marcus, David Weissman, and Mike Strauss with Reed Smith LLP, Kim Stevens with the Joint Policy Committee, Linda Bennett with Grey Advertising, and Kurt C. Wulfekuhler of Economics Partners LLC.