I attended the SAG-AFTRA National Board Meeting on July 19 for a one-day videoconference plenary, and we approved a first-ever, industry-transformative contract with Netflix covering dramatic live-action productions! This first-of-its-kind deal between the union and the global streaming service recognizes performance capture as covered work and includes coverage of dubbing, which applies to Netflix’s foreign-language, live-action and animated motion pictures dubbed into English. And, because the Netflix deal was negotiated separately from our TV/Theatrical Agreement, the Netflix deal will keep our members working no matter what happens with our upcoming AMPTP negotiations. Bottom line: We now have a direct agreement with Netflix. It speaks to some of the aspects of work that have been lost in the past. It helps ensure coverage in future technologies and gives us added leverage in our negotiations with the AMPTP. This. Is. Huge!
BBH HAS COME BACK! Almost two years after walking away from the union contract they had agreed to, after countless actions, picket lines and social media actions, BBH has returned as a signatory. The board announced that ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty Inc. has signed the newly negotiated 2019 Commercials Contracts (which the National Board approved by over 96%!), ending a 10-month-long strike and media campaign by SAG-AFTRA. BBH will produce all its commercials under these contracts, providing union wages and pension and health contributions to performers. Bottom line on BBH: We won. SAG-AFTRA really is “easy to work with, hard to fight!”
Said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, “We’re pleased that BBH returned to their longtime status as a SAG-AFTRA signatory. Now BBH can take full advantage of the transformative compensation models in the new 2019 Commercials Contracts agreement to better compete in the constantly evolving advertising industry.”
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White said, “I am pleased that BBH has rejoined the SAG-AFTRA family and I thank and salute our members for their incredible solidarity during the strike.”
In other business, the union announced that it will collaborate with Alicia Rodis, the associate director and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, the intimacy coordinators with IDI and other trained providers to standardize, codify and implement guidelines for on-set intimacy coordinators. The guidelines will seek to establish new, relevant policies for nudity and simulated sex; define the duties and standards for intimacy coordinators on productions; and specify acceptable training, vetting and qualifications of intimacy coordinators. Intimacy coordinators conversations with IDI are ongoing. We are going to engage in a broad-based initiative to make intimacy coordinators the norm.
Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto gave the financial report for the year ending April 2019. Ozzanto reported a year-end surplus of nearly $4.6 million due to a combination of increased revenue and expense management.
Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez presented the contracts report. In addition to approving the Netflix agreement, the board also voted up the 2019-20 TV/Theatrical proposal package for contract negotiations with the AMPTP. Details of the proposal package are confidential and per standard practice will not be released.
The board also received and approved reports on the Commercials Infomercial agreement, Commercials Jingle Agreement and new SAG-AFTRA Low Budget contracts.
National Board Member
- Local News