Now that the WGA has reached a deal on new film and TV contract, it’s SAG-AFTRA’s turn, and the actors union will be tackling many of the same issues the writers dealt with when it sits down with management this month to hammer out a new three-year pact.
“There are a lot of the same issues – pay rates for new media, options and exclusivity issues that hold film actors to future deals, and SVOD residuals,” a knowledgeable source told Deadline.
The WGA made significant gains in all these areas, and SAG-AFTRA will be looking to do the same. “They’re going to be focusing on working actors,” the source said.
Not all the issues are the same, however. The WGA needed an $85 million infusion of employer contributions to keep its ailing health plan afloat, but the SAG-AFTRA health plan is in relatively good shape. Another concern SAG-AFTRA will seek to address deals with actors who have recurring roles on TV series and are held on shows without being signed to series deals.
SAG and AFTRA, before they merged five years ago, last struck the film and TV industry in 1980. And while actors might not instill the same fear in the companies as do writers, who have struck four times since the last actors strike, the fact that SAG-AFTRA has been on strike against the video game industry for the past 194 days – the longest in SAG’s history – should give producers reason to believe that actors are not afraid to take to the picket lines to get a fair deal.
The SAG-AFTRA board overwhelmingly approved the union’s contract negotiations package in January, with union president Gabrielle Carteris calling it “a meaningful package of proposals for this upcoming negotiation.”
David White, the union’s national executive director and chief negotiator, praised Carteris and the members of the wages and working conditions committee for having done “a remarkable job in developing the package of proposals.”
SAG-AFTRA’s current contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires July 1.