UPDATED, 7 PM: SAG-AFTRA said tonight that its menbers have voted near-unanimously to ratify its new Sound Recordings Code. The deal, which runs through 2020, was OK’d by 99.08 of the votes.
Here are some highlights of the new deal’s terms, per the union:
- Increase minimum wages by 3 percent Jan.1, 2019 and 2020, and 2.5 percent Dec. 31, 2020.
- Increase health and retirement contributions to 13 percent, effective July 1, 2019.
- Increase the portion of worldwide streaming payments subject to health and retirement contributions from 15 percent to 50 percent.
- Increase the foreign traditional use conversion fee for most licenses from 3 percent to 4 percent, with substantially increased minimum and maximum payments.
- Substantially increase the maximum health and retirement contribution for groups of six or more and index it to future increases in eligibility requirements.
- Streamline the licensing and performer payment processes for foreign licenses, especially for tracks licensed into commercials.
The new deal is retroactive to January 1, 2018, and expires December 31, 2020. The major record labels covered by the agreement include Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group Recordings, Capitol Records and Hollywood Records (Disney).
“The negotiating committee’s vision, coupled with the support of our membership, is what has allowed us to secure meaningful gains, not only for today’s members, but for future SAG-AFTRA artists as well,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said.
Added National Executive Director David White, “This agreement further ensures increased minimums and higher contributions to the health and retirement plans, which will greatly benefit our recording artist members.”
PREVIOUSLY, November 16: SAG-AFTRA is urging its members to ratify the terms of a new Sound Recordings Code reached last month with the major record labels. The new three-year contract, which was approved unanimously by the union’s national board of directors, covers singers, announcers, actors, comedians and narrators employed in the recording industry. Only those members who have had earnings under the pact since 2012 are eligible to vote, and ballots must be returned no later than December 4.
The new contract provides for 3% pay raises in each of the first two years of the deal and a 2.5% pay hike in the third year. Employer contributions to the union’s pension and health plans will increase to 13% from the current 12.75% of all earnings effective July 1, 2019. The portion of streaming payments subject to health and retirement contributions will also increase from 15% to 50%.
According to the union, the new pact will also “substantially increase the maximum health and retirement contribution for groups of six or more, and index it to future increases in eligibility requirements,” and “streamline the licensing and performer payment processes for foreign licenses, especially for tracks licensed into commercials.” It will also increase the foreign traditional use conversion fee for most licenses from 3% to % “with substantially increased minimum and maximum payments.”
SAG-AFTRA, however, noted that “none of those gains go into effect if members don’t ratify the agreement.”
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.