SAG’s White, Studio Execs Eyeing Deal

National Executive Director David White has been meeting with studio CEOs and is close to presenting a deal.

Last Updated: April 7, 2009 @ 7:03 PM

A SAG board member close to the TV/Theatrical negotiations confirmed to The Wrap that interim National Executive Director David White will  present to the guild a tentative deal with producers. 

 

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday morning that a series of closed-door meetings between White and studio CEOs including Bob Iger and Peter Chernin will soon prove to be fruitful. 

 

The tentative deal struck by White and the CEOs is said to resolve the issue of whether a new contract will expire in 2011 or ’12 — the major sticking point that ended the last round of talks with the AMPTP in February.

 

The board member said SAG’s negotiating task force plans to meet Tuesday to discuss the deal’s details. The actor is hopeful that the task force will present a pact to the guild’s national board during their next meeting on April 18.

 

"I’m optimistic that that is going to let us ultimately reach a deal that the national board will approve and the members will ratify," the board member said. "But there’s stuff that has to play out before then and the Membership First partisans are going to fight this."

 

"These people are going to scream loud and hard because they understand that their failure as negotiators are going to be brought into sharp relief," he said, referring to the SAG faction that backs president Alan Rosenberg and ousted NED Doug Allen.

The board member said that White flew to Los Angeles several times to meet with producers during the negotiations for the recently approved Commercials contract.

He praised White for making so much headway in just three months as interim NED.

 

The Membership First-dominated negotiating committee began bargaining the TV/Theatrical contract last summer. The contract expired June 30 and SAG actors have since been working under the provision of the expired pact.

 

"It will be close to 11 months bythe time this contract is ratified," the board member said. "Any deal that we get now will be inferior to what we could have had in June. We’ll never recover the money we lost — 66 of 70 pilots went to AFTRA."

 

The board member said White chose not to re-open formal talks with the AMPTP because the studios’ group does not want to revisit the terms of their "final offer" to SAG.

 

"David has been talking to the guys above the AMPTP. The people who ultimately have decision-making power are the CEOs. The writers strike was solved much the same way."

 

Representatives of SAG, Membership First and the AMPTP have not returned requests for comment.

 

SAG spokeswoman Pamela Greenwalt did not confirm that a deal is forthcoming in the LA Times article, but said, "SAG’s leadership remains engaged in ongoing efforts to secure a fair deal for SAG members."