SAG-AFTRA Votes to Revamp Contracts, Increased Pay and Improved Travel Accommodations

SAG-AFTRA members overwhelmingly approved the 2017 TV/Theatrical contracts in national voting completed Monday, the union announced.

The three-year contracts covering theatrical, prime-time and basic cable television production were approved 75.79 percent-24.21 percent.

Informational voting cards were mailed to approximately 140,000 members of SAG-AFTRA, of which 15.33 percent voted

The contacts were agreed to July 4. The SAG-AFTRA National Board overwhelmingly approved the contacts at its July 15 meeting. The contacts are retroactive to July 1 and run through June 30, 2020. The contracts are worth $256 million, nearly 30 percent more than the $200 million 2014 TV/Theatrical deal, according to Pamela Greenwalt, SAG-AFTRA's chief communications & marketing officer.

The union secured a more than 300 percent increase in the residuals rate for performances shown on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, Greenwalt said.

The contracts also include:

-- a guaranteed raise of 2.5 percent to 3 percent for each year and increased pension and retirement contributions;

-- the 11th and 12th hours of the day for background actors will be paid at double time instead of time and a half for West Coast work;

-- additional increases for background performers include a nearly 17 percent increase for the photo double rate and 18 percent upfront increase for programs made for The CW;

-- improved provisions for travel for television performers, including setting minimums that significantly increase relocation allowances;

-- guaranteed airfare to performers traveling for work taking place in Los Angeles;

-- a reduction of the number of ``idle days'' that may be negotiated from three to two and increase of pay for those idle days from $75 to $100; and

-- safe travel commitment from management to provide either transportation or lodging for performers who do not believe they can drive themselves safely due to exhaustion or inclement weather.

"With these new provisions, members will be compensated for global use of their work on streaming new media platforms -- such as Netflix and Amazon -- in addition to seeing significant gains in streaming media residuals,'' said SAG-AFTRA President and Negotiating Committee Chair Gabrielle Carteris said.

"These gains speak not just to today, but to our future by establishing important new guidelines on travel and options as well as providing meaningful gains for the background community."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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