SAG/AFTRA Negotiators Agree to Contract

Jan 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists have come to an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year television and theatrical contract, the guilds announced late Thursday.

The agreement increases minimum pay rates by 3 percent annually and increases employer contributions to providing health care. SAG and AFTRA estimate the gains to be worth $200 million. But actors gained zero ground on the contentious issue of DVD residuals.

“We went at the producers hard on the DVD issue. It was an uphill battle from the start, and the next round would have been a lockout or a strike,” said AFTRA President John Connolly. “It would be irresponsible to force working actors to put their careers and families on the line through a work stoppage when we were able to negotiate a deal that makes sense for so many working performers. We just picked up $200 million without a strike. That’s a victory.”

The deal includes increased residuals for WB and UPN actors and for made-for-pay-TV performers.

SAG and AFTRA began talks with the studios and networks Dec. 6, 2004. If approved by a guild joint committee and union members, the agreement would run from July 1 through June 30, 2008.