NEW ORLEANS — SAG-AFTRA and the major record labels reached a tentative three-year agreement on a successor contract to the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings at 10:55 p.m. Thursday after two days of bargaining in New Orleans, Louisiana. Negotiations began in April 2018, in Los Angeles and continued for two additional sessions over the summer in New York City.
“This contract achieves important gains for our members in key areas, especially and including our health and retirement plans. I’m proud of our dedicated negotiating committee, and especially its chair, National VP Recording Artists/Singers Dan Navarro, for their excellent work,” said President Gabrielle Carteris.
The tentative agreement will be presented to SAG-AFTRA’s National Board at its meeting this weekend, and if approved will be sent to members for ratification.
Highlights of the contract include annual minimum wage increases, increased contributions to the health and retirement plans, including significantly increased contributions on payments related to online streaming of music, and other improvements in economic terms.
The new agreement is retroactive effective Jan. 1, 2018, and expires Dec. 31, 2020. The major record labels covered by the agreement include Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group Recordings, Capitol Records and Hollywood Records (Disney).
“Recognizing key industry trends and focusing on areas that make meaningful impact now and in the future is a hallmark of our collective bargaining, and this agreement is no exception. Congratulations to all of our superb negotiating staff and especially our lead negotiator, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and co-lead negotiator Stefanie Taub,” said National Executive Director David White.
“A true partnership between our dedicated committee members – made up of professional singers and recording artists – and our hardworking staff has resulted in yet another groundbreaking deal making artists across the spectrum better off. Increased minimums, higher contributions and more money from streaming will benefit all our members,” said Dan Navarro.
“Streaming is the future of music and our negotiating committee has recognized that and made it a top priority for the last several cycles. That focus has shown results and will work to the benefit of our members for years to come. I’m particularly grateful to co-lead negotiator Stefanie Taub, whose expertise and knowledge has been essential to our success,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.