SAG-AFTRA’s national board has unanimously approved a new set of commercials contracts, which union leaders are calling a “landmark” agreement “and a monumental advance in expanding our jurisdiction.” The deal, which reached on April 2 with the ad industry’s Joint Policy Committee, will now go to the union’s members for ratification. The contracts generate more than $1 billion a year for SAG-AFTRA members.
“This is arguably the most important negotiation in a generation,” said David White, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director and the union’s chief negotiator. “The committee developed innovative solutions to the challenges facing the advertising industry with an agreement that modernizes the commercials contracts, making both of them more flexible and relevant to this quickly evolving industry.”
SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, who chaired the negotiating committee, said that the new contracts “will deliver essential gains to our members while positioning performers and the industry for growth in a rapidly changing environment. We’ve introduced a bold new model that speaks to the needs of a constantly evolving workplace.”
According to the union, highlights of the contracts include:
- “New upfront use packages provide performers with substantial upfront payments, creating simple and flexible structures for employers that positions SAG-AFTRA to cover more work opportunities under the contract.
- Across-the-board wage increases of 6% (applicable to all categories of work, including background).
- Increased funding to the health and retirement/pension plans estimated at $22.2 million.
- Protections against sexual harassment.
- Coverage of stunt coordinators.
- Outsized gains to group dancers.
- Streamlined and radically improved renegotiation process for commercial agents representing SAG-AFTRA members.”