SAG-AFTRA National Board Ratifies New Corporate/Educational Contract

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SAG-AFTRA National Board Ratifies New Corporate/Educational Contract

SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors Ratifies New Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast Contract

Conducts Other Business During Two-Day Board Plenary

LOS ANGELES (April 19, 2015) --- The SAG-AFTRA National Board, meeting this weekend in Los Angeles at SAG-AFTRA Plaza, overwhelmingly ratified the recently negotiated Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast Contract.

The new three-year contract, The National Code of Fair Practice for Corporate/Educational & Non-Broadcast Recorded Material, covers public relations, sales promotion and training films made for initial use to the general public, schools, conventions, seminars, museums, in retail stores and for Internet use. It also covers audio-only content, such as telephone messages and audio used in consumer products.

“I am pleased that the union was able to secure important gains for members working under this contract. My thanks to negotiating committee chair Gabrielle Carteris, and vice chairs New York President Mike Hodge and vice president, smaller locals David Hartley-Margolin and to all the members who offered their input during the wages and working conditions process,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. 

 “I congratulate the board on the ratification of this agreement. Our negotiating committee, supported by Chief Contracts Officer and Lead Negotiator Ray Rodriguez brought back a good deal with substantial gains for SAG-AFTRA members,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White.

The board voted 94.69 percent in favor of ratification and the new agreement includes:

  • A 3-percent increase immediately in minimum compensation during the term of the agreement and a 3-percent increase on Nov. 1, 2016.
  • A half-percent increase to the employer contribution rate to the Health & Retirement Funds on the first day of the new contract, on top of the 3 percent in the first year.
  • Gains for background actors in salary and wardrobe fees.
  • An increase for the first hour of Interactive Voice Recording Phone Prompt Systems of almost 80 percent.
  • A change from five years to three years in the Category II program use period, a 40-percent decrease in favor of members working under the contract.

The agreement with the Producers Group brings together two legacy SAG and AFTRA contracts for corporate, non-broadcast and educational work, as a result of the merger of the unions in March 2012. The legacy contracts were jointly negotiated in April 2011 and set to expire on April 30, following a one-year extension in 2013.

The agreement for a new contract was reached on April 8.

In other business, the National Board received reports including:

President’s Report

SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard provided an update on the President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement and showed a video featuring nationwide education and outreach efforts since the task force was formed in January.

Howard reported on findings of a recent member survey and unveiled initial task force outreach materials, including a video on member empowerment, an educational PowerPoint presentation and the Working For You! brochure, which is available online with printed copies to be made available to all members in the coming weeks. The education and outreach initiative will reach stakeholders including members, pre-members, academic institutions, community organizations and others.

Howard and National Executive Director David White reported on the recent White House event that kicked off the union’s A Call to Arts partnership with the American Film Institute and the Obama administration to mentor those pursuing careers as storytellers. Howard and White also updated the board on industry organizations seeking to join the initiative. A highlight video was shown of the White House announcement. 

National Executive Director’s Report

In addition to an update on the A Call to Arts partnership, White provided a report on union operations, organizing successes in broadcasting and audiobooks, such as Brilliance Audio, and updated the board on pension, health and welfare matters.

White reported on expanding partnerships with industry allies, such as our partnership with musicFIRST and the announcement of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015 at the union’s New York office; a recent event at Los Angeles headquarters for ICON MANN during awards season; and many other partnerships.  

And White recapped the successful dedication ceremony of SAG-AFTRA Plaza on April 16, and showed a video of the installation of signage on the 5757 Wilshire Blvd. headquarters of the union.

Finance Report

Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto reported on the results of the third quarter, indicating that expected revenue and expenses are tracking closely to budget.

The fiscal year 2016 budget was approved without objection. The anticipated operating result for 2016 is also expected to yield a budget surplus.

Contracts Report

In addition to the above reported news, the national board also unanimously voted to increase the threshold for the Ultra Low Budget Agreement by 25 percent, from $200,000 to $250,000; increase the threshold of the Modified Low Budget Agreement by 12 percent from $625,000 to $700,000; and for Modified Low Budget agreements meeting requirements for diversity in casting and background actor incentives, increase the budget threshold by 12 percent effective July 1, 2015.

Legal and Governance Report

Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reported on Executive Committee actions and provided an update on planning for the upcoming biennial convention, and several governance and administrative recommendations, including local constitutional amendments, adoption of convention rules and other matters, including appointment of national board member from New York Janice Pendarvis to a seat on the trustees of the SAG-AFTRA & Industry Sound Recordings Distribution Fund.

Government Affairs & Public Policy Report

Chief Deputy General Counsel Jeffrey P. Bennett reported on the union’s government affairs and public policy activity, including the union’s strong support for HR 1733, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015, and other legislative and administrative policy advocacy at the state and federal level on behalf of our actor, broadcaster, recording artist and young performer members.

The meeting concluded at 2:05 p.m. Sunday, April 19.

Contract News: