Negotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract have adjourned for the night and will resume Thursday in the hope that an elusive deal can still be reached. The current contract had been set to expire on June 30 but now has been extended three times to allow bargaining to continue.
The sides issued a joint statement: “Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have jointly agreed to extend for a third day the current TV/Theatrical contracts, which are set to expire at midnight tonight. The extensions will expire at midnight on July 3, 2014. Negotiations will continue under the previously announced media blackout.”
While it was widely expected that SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations with the studios and networks would be more difficult and take longer than the other big Hollywood unions, few anticipated the talks would go past the expiration of the current contract. The DGA reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after just a few weeks of talks late last year. And while the WGA’s negotiations took longer and were more tense, the writers also reached an agreement with the studios and networks after less than a month of bargaining. Both unions hammered out and ratified their deals before the expiration of their current contracts, but the actors’ pact has taken nearly two months to negotiate, and they still don’t have a deal.
This is the first film and TV agreement the actors union has negotiated since the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA. It’s been complicated by the union’s attempt to merge its two separate TV contracts and by the fact that the guild still has two different pension and health plans. Sources say that going into the talks, merging the TV contracts was the union’s chief goal.