First Major SAG-AFTRA Contracts Overwhelmingly Approved with 96 Percent of Vote
New Three-Year Commercials Contracts Effective Retroactive to April 1, 2013
LOS ANGELES (May 31, 2013) — In national voting completed today, SAG-AFTRA members overwhelmingly approved new, three-year contracts negotiated with the advertising industry covering commercials. The 2013 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract and 2013 SAG-AFTRA Radio Recorded Commercials Contract are the first major contracts negotiated by SAG-AFTRA as one union since merger in March 2012.
The contracts cover performers working in commercials made for and reused on television, radio, the Internet and new media, and will result in wage increases and other payments totaling $238 million for all categories of performers, improvements in cable use fees, increases in payments for work on the Internet and new media platforms, an increase in the late payment fee, and an increase in contributions to the health and pension/retirement plans. The approved agreements also achieved recognition for the new union, merged the previous SAG and AFTRA television contracts into a single contract, and renamed the radio contract as a SAG-AFTRA contract.
Overall, the membership of SAG-AFTRA voted 96.21 percent in favor of the new agreements. Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Wash., facilitated the voting and certified the final count today. The new contracts go into effect immediately, retroactive to April 1, 2013, and remain in force until June 30, 2016.
SAG-AFTRA National Co-President and Commercials Negotiating Committee National Chair Roberta Reardon hailed today's resounding victory: "The significance of this ratification is two-fold. Not only are these the first major contracts negotiated as SAG-AFTRA, but the contracts' provisions provide for great improvements in the lives of our members and their families. I am grateful to the SAG-AFTRA members and staff who served alongside me on the negotiating team for all of their hard work."
"The ratification of this agreement is a great result for our members. These contracts represent solid improvements and demonstrate the value of the collaborative relationship we've developed with the negotiators on the Joint Policy Committee," said David White, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator. "We look forward to expanding opportunities for our members to work under this agreement across the country."
SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Ken Howard said, "The commercials agreements represent important gains for tens of thousands of our members across the country and address longstanding concerns which bring the commercials agreements up to date in a variety of areas. The overwhelming vote of support for these contracts is gratifying and I want to commend Co-President Reardon, Chief Negotiator David White, the negotiations committee and bargaining team for their dedication throughout the negotiation process."
SAG-AFTRA was represented in the commercials negotiations by Reardon, White, Negotiating Committee Vice Chairs Sue-Anne Morrow, Allen Lulu, Ilyssa Fradin, and David Hartley-Margolin, Co-Lead Negotiators Ray Rodriguez and Mathis Dunn, and Senior Advisor John McGuire.
SAG-AFTRA and the ANA-AAAA Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations began formal negotiations in New York City on Feb. 14. The two sides reached a tentative agreement on April 6.
On April 21, the SAG-AFTRA National Board unanimously approved the tentative commercials agreements, and approved a motion offering members the opportunity to ratify the agreements by voting online or by traditional paper ballots, if they prefer. Postcards were mailed May 1 to 131,685 eligible voters. Online voting made more efficient use of the union's financial resources and advanced our efforts to be more environmentally conscious by reducing paper use. 13 percent votes were returned (97 percent electronically). Votes (electronically or by mail) had to be received by the deadline of May 31, 2013, 5 p.m. PDT.
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.