SAG-AFTRA said today that it has decided to offer a waiver to its members for commercial digital low budget productions, an unusual step taken in the middle of a contract that’s designed to keep its actors in the running for jobs in the growing digital space.
The news came via a statement from the union and the Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations. They called the move an “experiment with the goal of developing a strong foothold in this area.” The waiver covers productions of $50,000 and under. Bigger productions remain covered under the current contract terms.
“While a waiver of this scope is rare, the union and the JPC felt it necessary to create this waiver mid-contract to offer relief to ad agencies that are losing clients to non-signatory ad agencies on digital work,” the statement said (read it in full below). “Our hope is that they will now be able to retain this work and maintain those highly creative and productive relationships with advertisers.”
SAG-AFTRA’s current three-year Commercials contract, ratified in May 2016, runs through March 2019. Among its gains were pay raises for ads used on the Internet and new media ranging from 6.25% to 16.7% on top of general increase gained in the deal.
Here’s today’s statement:
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After listening to the concerns of our signatories and with the JPC’s member needs in mind, both organizations have decided to offer a waiver for commercial digital low budget productions.
While a waiver of this scope is rare, the union and the JPC felt it necessary to create this waiver mid-contract to offer relief to ad agencies that are losing clients to non-signatory ad agencies on digital work. Our hope is that they will now be able to retain this work and maintain those highly creative and productive relationships with advertisers.
Nonunion work in the area of digital (internet and new media) commercials has grown over the years. While the rates under this waiver are negotiable, it will secure more work for our members and provide contributions towards health and pension benefits.
This waiver applies solely to new low budget digital commercial productions with budgets of 50k and under. Any digital commercial with a budget over 50k is still covered by the existing terms and conditions of the Commercials Contract and paid at not less than the minimums set under the Internet or New Media provisions.
We are using this waiver to experiment with the goal of developing a strong foothold in this area.
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