The final count wasn’t close: 78% voting “Yes”, to 22% voting “No”, with 30% of the 110,000+ SAG members in good standing all casting ballots. All the SAG reps in both the TV and Theatrical departments in both LA and NY have been informed they are to attend a meeting to be held by video teleconference tomorrow to review the new agreement and discuss issues of notifying independent producers, new codes, changes in forms, etc. (I’ll have an analysis later in a separate post…) Meanwhile, SAG President Alan Rosenberg, who was part of the “Vote No” faction repudiated by the membership in this count, today told reporters waiting for the voting results that he will seek a 3rd term.
Here is the official SAG statement that just went out about the ratification results, followed by the AMPTP’s official statement reacting to the vote, AFTRA’s reaction, and Membership First’s reaction:
SAG Members Overwhelmingly Ratify TV/Theatrical Agreements
Los Angeles, (June 9, 2009) — Screen Actors Guild announced today that members have voted overwhelmingly to approve its TV/Theatrical contracts by a vote of 78 percent to 22 percent.
The two-year successor agreement covers film and digital television programs, motion pictures and new media productions. The pact becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. June 10, 2009 and expires June 30, 2011.
The contracts provide more than $105 million in wages, increased pension contributions, and other gains and establishes a template for SAG coverage of new media formats.
Approximately 110,000 SAG members received ballots of which 35.26 percent returned them – a return that is above average compared with typical referenda on Screen Actors Guild contracts. Integrity Voting Systems of Everett, WA, provided election services and tonight certified the final vote tally upon completion of the tabulation.
The vote count in the Hollywood Division was 70.70 percent to 29.30 percent in favor. In the New York Division, the vote count was 85.74 percent to 14.26 percent in favor. And in the Regional Branch Division, the vote count was 89.06 percent to 10.94 percent in favor.
Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg said, “The membership has spoken and has decided to work under the terms of this contract that many of us, who have been involved in these negotiations from the beginning, believe to be devastatingly unsatisfactory. Tomorrow morning I will be contacting the elected leadership of the other talent unions with the hope of beginning a series of pre-negotiation summit meetings in preparation for 2011. I call upon all SAG members to begin to ready themselves for the battle ahead,” Rosenberg added.
Screen Actors Guild Interim National Executive Director David White said, “This decisive vote gets our members back to work with immediate pay raises and puts SAG in a strong position for the future. Preparation for the next round of negotiations begins now. Our members can expect more positive changes in the coming months as we organize new work opportunities, repair and reinvigorate our relationships with our sister unions and industry partners, and continue to improve the Guild’s operations.”
Screen Actors Guild Chief Negotiator John McGuire said, “I want to thank the SAG members and staff who dedicated their time to the negotiations process. We emerged with a solid deal that the members have now voted up. The negotiating team worked tirelessly, building on the work of the first negotiating committee, to deliver these improvements to members.”
Screen Actors Guild began talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on April 15, 2008. Guild Chief Negotiator John McGuire, Interim National Executive Director David White, and Deputy National Executive Director for Contracts Ray Rodriguez, working with a 10-person negotiating task force comprised of Screen Actors Guild board members and officers representing the three divisions, reached the tentative agreement on April 16, 2009 after 12 months of periodic negotiations with the motion picture studios and television networks.
For further information on the new contract, including the full text and a summary of the agreement, click here.
The AMPTP issued this statement soon after:
The ratification vote by SAG members is good news for the entertainment industry. This concludes a two-year negotiating process that has resulted in agreements with all major Hollywood Guilds and Unions. We look forward to working with SAG members – and with everyone else in our industry — to emerge from today’s significant economic challenges with a strong and growing business.
AFTRA stated that President Roberta Reardon applauds SAG’s contract ratification:
In a statement released on June 9, Roberta Reardon, National President of AFTRA, praised the announcement by Screen Actors Guild regarding ratification by SAG members of a new two-year successor agreement to the SAG Basic Agreement and SAG Television Agreement saying: “On behalf of the more than 70,000 members of AFTRA, I congratulate the members of Screen Actors Guild on their successful ratification of a new television and theatrical agreement. We’re pleased that SAG members will now enjoy improved wages and working conditions, and we applaud their efforts to negotiate a solid new agreement.”
And, on the Membership First website, SAG members said:
“The vote on the SAG TV/Theatrical Contract has demonstrated that 78% of the Membership agrees to creating a residual free/non-union zone in New Media. They also are trusting that AFTRA, the DGA and the WGA will negotiate with SAG in two years. And let’s not forget that included in the deal are Management’s rollbacks like Clip Consent and Force Majeure. So be it. The following is President Rosenberg’s statement:
“The membership has spoken and has decided to work under the terms of this contract that many of us, who have been involved in these negotiations from the beginning, believe to be devastatingly unsatisfactory. Tomorrow morning I will be contacting the elected leadership of the other talent unions with the hope of beginning a series of pre-negotiation summit meetings in preparation for 2011. I call upon all SAG members to begin to ready themselves for the battle ahead.”
Since the “yes” campaign was all about the Contract Term expiring in 2011 “so SAG can unify with the other Unions to fight another day”, Membership First will spend a lot of time and recourses working to make that happen. We will take the SAG Leadership at their word.