Los Angeles – The SAG-AFTRA National Board met Monday and Tuesday following the union’s four-day biennial convention in Los Angeles. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris opened the meeting by welcoming the union’s newly elected board members. 

“I am thrilled to welcome the new board and to begin work on the core initiatives that are the foundation of SAG-AFTRA,” said Carteris. “There is important work to do and I look forward to collaborating with the board to continue building the strong union our membership deserves,” she added.

The National Board received reports including:

President’s Report
Carteris announced the finalized planning for SAG-AFTRA’s new digital media facilities and on-camera lab located at the national headquarters office at SAG-AFTRA Plaza in Los Angeles.

The facilities will include additional classrooms equipped for web streaming, livestreaming and distance learning; an audio-visual recording and training studio for the production of SAG-AFTRA educational videos, podcasts and member on-camera work; conference, screening and meeting facilities; the launch of a series of informational talks on technology innovation; and the creation of a dedicated member on-camera lab to be administered by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
The facility will be located on the second floor and will be dedicated to serving members in Los Angeles and nationwide. 

National Executive Director’s Report
Chief Economist David Viviano joined National Executive Director David White and presented an analysis of several key performance metrics including the union’s membership growth and contract earnings within the last five years. 

Finance Report
Secretary-Treasurer Camryn Manheim and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto reported that fiscal year 2020 first quarter results are on plan and tracking to budget. Ozzanto also highlighted the surplus from the previous year.

Broadcast Contracts
Chief Broadcast Officer Mary Cavallaro delivered negotiations updates about the union’s broadcast contracts with KABC-TV (L.A.), WABC-TV (N.Y.), WPXI-TV (Ohio-Pittsburgh), KBLX-FM (San Francisco), KOIT-FM (San Francisco), KRON-TV (San Francisco), NBC Network News Producers (Washington-Mid Atlantic), WASH-FM, WBIF-FM, WIHT-FM, WMZQ-FM, WWDC-FM, WWDC-HD2 (Washington-Mid Atlantic) and KGW-TV (Portland) stations.

Contracts Report
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland provided a detailed description of the highlights of the tentative music video agreement. The new, three-year deal achieves important economic and safety gains for performers working in music videos. The agreement is effective from May 1, 2019, through April 30, 2022. The major labels party to the agreement are Warner Records, Atlantic Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Capitol Records and Hollywood Records (Disney).

The board unanimously approved and ratified the agreement. 

“I am proud to be part of the team that helped achieve this contract, which includes new set minimums, protections against sexual harassment and better wages for background performers,” said Negotiating Committee Chair and National Vice Chair of the Dancer Committee Danielle Towne. She added, “This agreement will ensure that music videos can remain creative while the performers that bring them to life feel safe.”
Highlights of the Music Video Agreement include:

  • Adds a $500 minimum (12-hr day) to the $50-100 thousand tier
  • Makes the pro-rated eight-hour day for the above $100-150 thousand tier permanent
  • Increases the daily rate for existing dancer minimums 
    • 3 percent upon ratification
    • 3 percent starting May 1, 2020
    • 2.5 percent starting May 1, 2021
  • Establishes a minimum rate for background nationwide pegged at 10 percent above applicable minimum wage
  • Requires that a stunt coordinator be engaged when aerial acrobatics and non-dance stunts are to be performed
  • Includes language surrounding sexual harassment prevention
  • Includes a nudity rider that defines nudity with considerations to the special requirements and culture of music video production

The National Board also approved a negotiating committee and wages & working conditions process for the Corporate, Educational & Non-Broadcast Contract.

Governance Report
Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon reported on the referrals of resolutions from convention and the importance of increasing engagement of member volunteers through service. The board then approved presidential appointments to its various committees.
In other business, the board selected a trustee for the SAG-Producers Pension Plan and approved the establishment of the NextGen Performers (NGP) as well as the Innovation and New Technology national committees.

The meeting adjourned at 1:03 p.m. PST.

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