SAG-AFTRA Members Approve New Film and TV Contract

The new agreement between union and producers lasts through 2020


SAG-AFTRA members have voted to approve the new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The contract, retroactive to July 1, will last through 2020.

A total of 75.79 percent of SAG-AFTRA members voted for the new agreement, an overwhelming majority but a decline from 2014, when more than 90 percent of members voted yes.

Valued at $256 million, the new contract represents an increase of 30 percent over the previous agreement reached in 2014.

Gains reached by the agreement include:

* A guaranteed raise of 2.5 – 3 percent for each year of the contracts
* Increased pension and retirement contributions
* Changes to residuals including increases for streaming content, earlier due dates, and new foreign residuals
* Improvements for background actors, including double overtime with extras on the West Coast getting double time for 11th and 12th hours of the day, a 17 percent increase for the photo double rate, and identity theft protections
* Travel provisions including increased relocation allowances, transportation or lodging for actors who do not believe they can safely drive due to exhaustion or weather, and guaranteed airfare for performers going to Los Angeles for work.
* Reduction in total negotiated “idle days” and an increase in pay for those days

“With these new provisions, members will be compensated for global use of their work on streaming new media platforms — such as Netflix and Amazon — in addition to seeing significant gains in streaming media residuals” said SAG-AFTRA President and Negotiating Committee Chair Gabrielle Carteris in a statement. “These gains speak not just to today, but to our future by establishing important new guidelines on travel and options as well as providing meaningful gains for the background community.

“The gains in this contract reflect their hard work and their voices in negotiations,” she continued. “I am also very grateful to my fellow negotiating committee members, to National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White and to the dedicated SAG-AFTRA staff who worked to ensure our new contract builds for the next generation of television and theatrical production.”

Producers and actors had clashed over a number of issues, including compensation for short seasons, such as the eight-to-10 episode runs of Netflix and HBO shows, as opposed to the 22-episode broadcast season, and relocation allowances for parts on Hollywood hits that shoot in places like Atlanta.

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP extended talks three separate times after their contract originally expired at the beginning of July, finally reaching an agreement and averting a strike late on July 3.