Taking a cue from David Letterman, SAG-AFTRA has released a “Top Ten” list of reasons why its members should vote “yes” on the union’s just-negotiated film and TV contract. We’ve laid out the list here, with some heavy-handed editing for, ahem, excessive length, but all the words are theirs, not ours. What do you think about their list? Do you have your own list of reasons (yes or no) to back the contract?

1. A Competitive Wage Package: … By achieving wage gains of 2.5 …to 3 percent applied to all programs …your committee maximized the money that members have the opportunity to earn. And by electing to increase the Pension, Health and Retirement contribution rates by .5 percent in the first year…, we not only improved the funding of the benefits plans—a crucial step toward … merger—but also extracted the maximum dollar value from the Producers. … network primetime rerun ceilings will increase by 2% each year…. a deal valued at $30 million more than… 2011…an increase of nearly 18%! …

Keith Bambury
2 years
I am curious about SAG-AFTRA's voting system. Are young children who have achieved Full member status in...
Matt Mulhern
2 years
This is a repeat of a previous Ligon post. For my career, thus far, I will simply...
Tom Ligon
2 years
"Simply wrong" about what, nitwit?

2. A Unified TV Agreement: …two sets of contracts governing scripted dramatic television …set our two legacy unions… toward competition… the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement creates a single set of terms and conditions … this represents the culmination of our merger, …simplifies the marketplace so performers always know the terms under which they are working. This … agreement is the platform on which we will continue building stronger protections and additional compensation…

3. An Industry-Wide Deal in Basic Cable:difficult … to figure out what terms you’re working under … on a basic cable show? …direct result of … “patchwork quilt” of contracts …Our new, merged union was finally able to break through … creating … an industry-wide set of terms for basic cable …based on the legacy SAG Basic Cable Agreement. …another example of how this deal simplifies the marketplace and best positions us in the expanding basic cable universe.

4. Television Terms for Programs Made for Netflix-Type Platforms: The High-Budget Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) terms …ensure … the next House of Cards or Orange is the New Black will be covered … with television type terms. Without this … these programs would be covered by the “free bargaining” provisions of our new media side letters… Thanks to this deal, … you’ll be protected … in nearly the same way you would be …making a show for television… 100% of initial compensation for all members… on High Budget SVOD programs with more than 15 million subscribers. …Two lower budget/subscriber levels of SVOD programming… allow producers to partially credit… regulars’ … minimums against other payments, but producers … still … pay ALL performers 100% of … initial compensation

5. Creation of a New Residual for Television Programs: …When you watch a program through …free on-demand service that has commercials in it, you will now be owed residuals for that exhibition… This…is the same as the free-to-the-consumer, ad-supported streaming in New Media residual… so members will …immediately enjoy the improvements…

6. Improvements to the New Media Streaming Provisions: The residual … owed for the first year of free-to-consumer, ad-supported streaming of a program on New Media… to increase…. by nearly 43% … going to collect… much sooner because the “free streaming window” …is about to get shorter.. by nearly 60% …in the first year …

7. Gains for Background Actors: … Stand-ins … under both Schedule X-I and Schedule X-II will receive … wage increases of 5% each year. Background actors working under The CW Supplement … also receive … annual 5% increase. Background actors …West Coast zones will have more jobs available… agreement creates two more available positions for background actors. A stand-in will be taken out of the count for theatrical motion pictures in the West Coast zones …another position for background actors…The number of covered positions … on a High Budget SVOD program will go from 10 to 21 in … West Coast zones and from 10 to 25 in … New York zones..

8. A More Stable, Predictable Way to Fund our Benefits: …we removed the discretion producers have … enjoyed to choose which plans receive their benefits contributions…. structured… to protect … both plans, … giving our members the best … opportunity to qualify for and receive benefits.

9. Paving the Road to a Health Plan Merger: …the union was able to ensure that we have a process to modify or eliminate any part of our contract that could hold up a merger…will further empower our trustees to continue …this critical objective.

10. Improvements in the Area of Advance Payment of Residuals: …only amounts in excess of a stated figure can be treated as a pre-payment of your residuals.

For most exhibitions other than on network prime time, we raised that threshold …guaranteeing you an extra $1,000 of initial compensation before advance payment can occur… will apply to the The CW Supplement as well… advance crediting of residuals for a day performer is now prohibited …under The CW Supplement and basic cable programs.