SAG-AFTRA said today that they’ll sit down with the studios and networks on May 5 to start negotiations on a new 3-year contract. This is the first truly big contract to be worked out by the union since SAG and AFTRA merged two years ago. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the WGA finally reached a deal on a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers. Today, in meetings in L.A., the SAG-AFTRA National Board unanimously rubber stamped proposals for the upcoming talks based on their mandated wages and working conditions meetings with members. Typical of SAG-AFTRA, the proposals themselves are being kept under lock and key. However, there is little doubt that they include measures about a rise in contributions to the now merged unions still separated Health and Pension plans as well as increases in minimums and residuals based on the pattern bargaining approach utilized by the DGA and the WGA. The first union to sit down with the studios and networks, the DGA sealed their deal late last year. With their current deal set to expire on June 30, SAG-AFTRA will be led by union prez Ken Howard in the contract talks. Potential NBA Players Union chief and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White will serve as chief negotiator when the union meets with AMPTP at their Sherman Oaks HQ next month.