SAG-AFTRA’s National Board has officially approved a tentative agreement, marking the end of a grueling 118-day strike in the entertainment industry. The agreement, reached with studio CEOs and the AMPTP earlier this week, is valued at over one billion dollars in new wages and benefit plan funding.
Members of the guild can look forward to receiving an 80-page summary of the full agreement on November 13. In addition, ratification voting will commence on November 14, allowing eligible members to express their opinions on the deal.
The agreement encompasses various improvements, including wage increases, casting guidelines, relocation allowances, and contribution caps to the Health and Pension fund. A key feature of the wage pattern is an 11.28% increase within the first year of the contract, along with further wage increases for background actors in the following years.
Furthermore, the Health and Pension/Retirement funds will experience a surge in contributions due to a significant increase in the contribution cap for one-hour and half-hour productions.
An important development in the agreement involves the establishment of a new compensation stream for performers in streaming. This stream will provide bonuses on top of existing residuals structures, benefiting performers working in this increasingly popular medium.
The deal also addresses issues of equity, diversity statistics sharing, and sexual harassment prevention protections for performers. Casting process protections have been established as well, promising to provide breakdowns, sides, and scripts before submission deadlines.
Relocation allowances for series performers have witnessed substantial improvements, now covering up to $5,000 per month for a maximum of 6 months.
The cumulative pay increase of 14.8% in this agreement outperforms the recent deal reached by the WGA. Moreover, a streaming bonus fund, projected to pay out around $120 million throughout the course of the contract, has been introduced.
It is important to note that the new compensation stream for performers will only apply to shows watched by 20% or more of a streaming service’s subscribers. This restriction may limit its overall impact. In subsequent contract talks, the SAG-AFTRA president aims to negotiate a lower percentage threshold for the streaming bonus.
As the full summary and fine print of the agreement are due to be released, the industry awaits the complete details and its potential implications. This landmark deal could reshape the landscape of the entertainment industry and set new standards for performers.
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