With ballots going out May 19, the Screen Actors Guild has set a pair of town hall meetings for members to discuss the vote to ratify the feature-primetime deal with producers.
The first will be May 21 at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel, followed by one June 1 at New York City’s DGA Theater.
SAG’s Interim National Executive Director David White struck the tentative agreement on April 17 with individual studio CEOs, including Disney President Bob Iger and Fox President Peter Chernin, while the Guild’s chief negotiator, John McGuire, headed negotiations for the union’s commercials contract.
The national SAG board approved the deal on April 19, with a 53 percent endorsement, leaving it up to a member vote. Ballots will need to be returned on June 9.
The vote would resolve the issue of whether a new contract will expire in 2011 or 2012 — the major sticking point that ended the last round of talks in February. At that time, the AMPTP warned SAG that it would revise the terms of its “last, best and final” offer if the union did not accept the offer within 60 days.
Although SAG’s rank-and-file members are weary from almost a yearlong stalemate with the AMPTP — during which 66 of 70 pilots signed with sister union AFTRA — it’s expected that the hardline faction Membership First will attempt to convince its fellow members not to acquiesce to the residuals negotiated by the more moderate arm, Unite for Strength.
That faction, headed by SAG 1st Vice President Anne-Marie Johnson, supports National President Alan Rosenberg and former NED Doug Allen, whom Unite voted out earlier this year.
Allen and Rosenberg took a hard stance against the AMPTP, vowing to fight for better terms for New Media and DVD residuals.