With just two weeks to go before the current SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract expires, negotiations are continuing today with no apparent sense of urgency. The contract talks, which began May 5, have yet to convene on the weekends. “The offices are closed,” a security guard said Saturday at the AMPTP’s offices in Sherman Oaks, where the talks are being held. “There’s no one in there.”

SAG-AFTRA is cutting it much closer to the deadline than either the DGA or WGA did in their recent contract talks. The directors reached a deal a full 7½ months before their contract expired, and the writers reached a deal 29 days before their deal expired. Even if a deal for a new actors’ contract is reached this week, the ratification process could take a month to complete. The union’s board of directors would have to approve any deal first, and then ballots would be mailed to the union’s 247,000 members. Returning and counting the ballots would take several more weeks, pushing final ratification well beyond the expiration of the current pact.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Talks: What To Expect

(more…)