SAG-AFTRA Says Directors Guild’s Deal With Studios Doesn’t Impact Its Upcoming Contract Talks

“Our bargaining strategy has never relied upon nor been dependent on the outcome or status of any other union’s negotiations,” says national executive director

duncan crabtree-ireland sag-aftra
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland (SAG-AFTRA)

SAG-AFTRA national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland has released a memo to members of the actors guild congratulating the Directors Guild of America on reaching a tentative agreement on a new labor contract while noting that such a deal will have no impact on SAG-AFTRA’s own labor talks beginning this week.

“Our bargaining strategy has never relied upon nor been dependent on the outcome or status of any other union’s negotiations, nor do we subscribe to the philosophy that the terms of deals made with other unions bind us,” the memo reads.

“We continue to stand in strong solidarity with the members of the WGA and with their strike, and we congratulate the DGA on their bargaining and look forward to reviewing the detailed terms of their agreement as soon as possible,” Crabtree-Ireland continued.

Late Saturday night, the DGA announced that it had reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year labor contract that will go to the guild’s national board in a special meeting on Tuesday. If the agreement is approved by the board, which is expected, further details on the agreement will be disclosed to members and the public.

The DGA did release an overview of the gains negotiated in the contract, which include a 76% increase in foreign streaming residuals, a higher-than-usual annual increase in minimum rates and a ban on live ammunition on production sets. Crabtree-Ireland says he has been in contact with the DGA but that SAG-AFTRA will not comment on the contract until further details are shared.

SAG-AFTRA is expected on Monday evening to announce that its members have voted to authorize leadership to order a strike after the June 30 expiration date on its current contract if a sufficient deal is not reached with the AMPTP. Negotiations are set to begin on Wednesday.

The Writers Guild of America, meanwhile, released its own statement congratulating DGA on reaching a deal and reasserting its demand that the AMPTP make a full counteroffer to its entire proposed contract as a prerequisite for talks to resume.

“Last week we sent an email about how the AMPTP divide and conquer strategy won’t work this time. The AMPTP will not be able to negotiate a deal for writers with anyone but us. Today that message and the video about the path to a deal with the WGA is even more timely,” the WGA said.