SAG-AFTRA’s national board of directors has approved the union’s proposals for a new commercials contract, with negotiations set to begin on Feb. 20.
Set to expire on March 31, the current contract covers about $1 billion in annual work. But it comes at a time when the union has seen its membership numbers decline.
The board approved a Finance Committee recommendation to hold initiation fees at their current rates and to allow an automatic increase in base dues from $214.32 to $218.61 to take effect as per the Merger Agreement, effective May 1, 2019.
Union president Gabrielle Carteris will chair the negotiating committee and National Executive Director David White will serve as chief negotiator. The board also extended David White’s contract through Feb. 1, 2023.
“I am thrilled that the national board overwhelmingly voted to ensure David’s executive expertise and stewardship of SAG-AFTRA’s operations will continue for another four years,” Carteris said in a statement. “It speaks to the strength and stability of this union and our forward vision.”
When reached out to Sunday morning for further update, a union spokesperson told TheWrap: “We have mutually agreed to a news blackout of our commercials negotiations and decline to comment.”
Two new agreements in the interactive space were also approved. The new Low Budget Video Game Agreement and Interactive Localization Agreement were created in partnership with video game producers to create more opportunities for SAG-AFTRA members to work in parts of the industry previously unorganized.
Video games under $1.5 million will now have access to the SAG-AFTRA member talent in an accessible rate structure. The Interactive Localization Agreement was created to reach an area of the industry, foreign video games recorded in English, that has historically been non-union.