After almost two months of talks, SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry early today struck a deal on new television and radio commercials contracts. If approved by the union’s National Board of Directors at its April 20 to 21 meeting, these agreements are intended to replace the last three-year contracts that formally expired on March 31. The negotiations, covering contracts with about $1 billion in yearly earnings, were the first contract talks conducted by the union since SAG and AFTRA merged last March. However, with now typical SAG-AFTRA secrecy, the union said today that no details of the new agreements would be made public to anyone including union members in advance of the Board’s review. Once the board has signed off, the deal will be sent to the full membership of 160,000 for ratification. SAG-AFTRA co-President Roberta Reardon did say in a statement Saturday that “we’ve made essential gains for SAG-AFTRA members and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Talks on a new three-year contract started on February 14 in NYC between SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee from the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers. All parties granted one-week extensions of the previous contracts on March 26 while negotiations continued. The sit-down between the 34-member SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee (26 seated members and 8 alternates) and the Industry concluded April 6, at 1:49 AM EDT in NYC. Reardon, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David 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 represented SAG-AFTRA. The JPC was represented by lead negotiator Douglas J. Wood, JPC Counsel Stacy Marcus, David Weissman with Reed Smith LLP, Linda Bennett with Saatchi & Saatchi, Kim Stevens with Arnold Worldwide, and Kathleen Quinn with the 4A’s.