LOS ANGELES (Oct. 12, 2014) — The SAG-AFTRA National Board, meeting this weekend in a face-to-face plenary in Los Angeles, extended David White’s role as National Executive Director and authorized a new four-year contract in that capacity, expiring Oct. 12, 2018. Details of the agreement are confidential and were not disclosed.
“This job presents new challenges every day and I am thrilled to continue in my role at SAG-AFTRA,” White said. “I want to thank President Howard, our elected officers and national board members for their confidence in me. It’s an honor to represent SAG-AFTRA members and I look forward to continuing the great work we have accomplished to date.”
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said, “I’m so pleased that we were able to secure a long-term commitment from David. He is a formidable strategic thinker and an outstanding executive. David is equally committed to wisely shepherding our operations and to ensuring good wages and safe working conditions for our members. We are lucky to have him and know we will continue to benefit from his leadership.”
The national board also unanimously ratified the recently negotiated 2014 SAG-AFTRA TV Animation Agreement and SAG-AFTRA Basic Cable Animation Agreement.
The new contracts, which go into effect immediately, are retroactive to July 1, 2014 and will run through June 30, 2017. The new agreement includes:
- Pay raises of 8.7% compounded over the next three years retroactive to Oct. 1
- Increased contributions to our Pension & Health/Health & Retirement Funds
- Consolidated the SAG and AFTRA stand-alone deals into one SAG-AFTRA Animation Agreement
- A reduction in unpaid free streaming windows
- A brand-new residual from free, on-demand viewing through your cable box
Negotiations lasted three days, concluding on Sept. 9 and were directed for the union by lead negotiator and Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez and Assistant National Executive Director, Contracts Joan Halpern Weise.
In other contract news, the board unanimously approved proposals for the upcoming Network Television Code negotiations. The National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting (Network Television Code) covers syndicated dramatic programs, daytime serials, promotional announcements, variety, quiz, game, reality, talk, news, sports and other non-dramatic programs. The proposal package is confidential and will not be released.
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard will chair the contracts negotiations and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White will serve as the union’s chief negotiator.
The approval of the package follows the meeting of the SAG-AFTRA National Network Television Code Wages & Working Conditions Committee of 13 voting members and 10 alternates that will also serve as the negotiating committee. The committee approved the proposal negotiation package for presentation to the national board. Howard served as the national chair for the W&W committee.
The Network Television Code wages and working conditions process began in August and gave members the opportunity to discuss the contracts and suggest potential provisions. W&W serves as a vital tool for members to determine priorities when negotiating.
Negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are scheduled to commence on Nov. 3, 2014 at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The current contract expires Nov. 15.
President Howard provided a report regarding SAG-AFTRA’s recent meeting with the International Federation of Actors (FIA) and his recent statements of support for journalists’ rights strongly supporting broadcasters in Ferguson, Missouri and across the country.
Howard said of the FIA meeting, “There are a number of crucial issues confronting actors around the world. Through our participation in FIA, we engage with our global partners and ensure U.S. performer interests are protected. With FIA, we work to achieve unified action in light of the increased globalization of the entertainment and media industries."
National Executive Director’s Report
National Executive Director David White provided an update on union operations, including a report on core functions and priority initiatives. White welcomed Brian Lysell, the new executive director for the SAG-AFTRA Ohio-Pittsburgh Local. He congratulated Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland on his recent installation as Chair of the Conference of California Bar Associations, the Legal Department on the designation of Southern California Legal Department of the Year, Diversity, from the National Law Journal, and saluted Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez and National Director, Theatrical Contracts Olga Rodriguez-Aguirre on their selection by the Imagen Foundation as among the Most Powerful and Influential Leaders (MPIL) in Entertainment.
White also reported on union organizing in broadcasting and other areas as well as updating the board on pension, health and welfare matters.
Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino and CFO Arianna Ozzanto reported on first quarter financial results, which are trending to plan.
As reported, the SAG-AFTRA National Board unanimously ratified the recently negotiated 2014 SAG-AFTRA TV Animation Agreement and SAG-AFTRA Basic Cable Animation Agreement. The board also approved proposals for the upcoming Network Television Code negotiations.
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reported Executive Committee actions, including the approval of several recently negotiated broadcast contracts and a new “Do Not Work” notice regarding the Esquire Network program The Getaway.
“Do Not Work notices are for the benefit of our members and are not issued lightly,” said Crabtree-Ireland. “These are final measures against an employer who has failed to sign a SAG-AFTRA agreement, making it clear that our members will not accept work from this employer until an agreement has been signed.”
Crabtree-Ireland also reported on governance matters including adoption of the national 2015 board meeting schedule, recommendations from the Convention Advisory Review Committee and initial planning for the 2015 SAG-AFTRA National Convention, scheduled for Oct. 1-4, 2015 in Los Angeles, as well as elections policy and administrative recommendations for the 2015 candidate elections.
Government Affairs & Public Policy Report
Chief Deputy General Counsel Jeffrey P. Bennett reported on the union’s government affairs and public policy activity, including legislative and administrative policy advocacy at the state and federal level on behalf of our broadcaster, actor, sound recording artist, and young performer members.
Bennett said, “We’re fully engaged on a number of legislative and policy issues that affect the working lives of our members. We have a number of priorities, but content protection remains a crucial initiative. We continue to support appropriate legislative and administrative policy that combats the digital theft of entertainment product.”
The meeting concluded Sunday, Oct. 12 at 2:35 p.m. PDT.