SAG Updates Members on AMPTP Issues

SAG prez Alan Rosenberg today sent out this email:

June 8, 2008
Dear Members,
        Screen Actors Guild’s negotiating committee continued its bargaining with the AMPTP this past week. We continue to negotiate for a new contract that will be fair for actors and we are not done yet as there are still a number of significant outstanding issues including:

*       More than cost-of-living improvements for working actor compensation, with real  improvements in money breaks and schedule breaks and a significant increase in the major role minimum.
*       Make real improvements in background coverage and compensation.
*       Guild coverage and residuals for all original new media programs. Our employers should not have the right to produce non-union new media programming under our contract. We continue to fight hard to preserve  residuals for actors now and in the future.
*       Product integration — you should have the right of consent and to be compensated for scripted in-program product integrations in which an actor extols the virtues of a product or service.
*       Improving DVD Residuals – we are holding on our proposal that management pay P&H contributions on top of the residuals instead of deducting it from your residuals payment. This would mean a 15% increase in DVD residual payments.
*       An increase in mileage for the 1rst time in 30 years. A gallon of gas cost about 63 cents in 1978. It’s almost $5 per gallon now – a cost jump of around 700%. I think we can all agree that it’s time for an increase in mileage.

These are examples of priorities for actors that were not achieved in the AFTRA deal.
I also want to bring you up to date on other recent actions. As you may know, your negotiating committee unanimously voted to ask AFTRA to delay the ratification of their tentative deal in order to allow Screen Actors Guild to successfully conclude its negotiations with the AMPTP. We believe that the tentative AFTRA deal and its pending ratification — coming as it does within several days of SAG’s June 30 contract deadline — is a distraction that the employers are using to delay significant progress in our negotiations.
Delaying ratification of the AFTRA contract could benefit all actors. AFTRA members too would benefit by increased leverage in our negotiations and through any favored nations clauses SAG might be able to achieve that would provide improvements in the AFTRA deal.
Regrettably, AFTRA President Roberta Reardon and Executive director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth informed us by letter that AFTRA will not agree to a delay in their ratification schedule. I assure you, this is NOT about union politics. It is about using our combined leverage to achieve the best terms possible for actors — in both unions.
We appreciate the attendance of observers from other unions who attended our negotiations throughout the week, as they have in the past.

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