That Was Easy: SAG Reaches Basic Cable Agreement With AMPTP

After three days of pattern bargaining, talent union gets the same terms it received on its just signed broadcast/theatrical deal

Last Updated: November 11, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

After just three days of pattern bargaining, the Screen Actors Guild has reached a tentative agreement with producers on a new basic-cable deal.

Terms of the new three-year contracts — which cover basic cable live-action and animation, as well as broadcast TV animation — closely mirror that of the new major broadcast TV/theatrical agreement that SAG jointly carved out with the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists over the last six weeks.

Terms call for 2 percent minimum wage increases, as well as a 1.5 percent bump in health-and-pension compensation, bringing the total P&H nut to 16.5 percent.

With talent-guild negotiations out of the way, the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers will begin major-contract-renewal negotiations with the Directors Guild of America, announcing a Tuesday, Nov. 16 start date for those talks.

Negotiations on the new arrangement began only Monday at the headquarters of the AMPTP in Sherman Oaks, Calif., less than 48 hours after talks on the big SAG/AFTRA broadcast/theatrical deal culminated.

With SAG's moderate Unite For Strength leadership having achieved its goals of reaching its major deals with the AMPTP without rancor, rhetoric or strike threats, it's expected that the union will now shift its focus towards re-approaching merger with AFTRA.

Within SAG, the opposition Membership First coalition is critical of the new agreements, which don't improve upon other recent 2 percent minimum wage increase deals the AMPTP has made and don't address new media, either.

In fact, earlier in the week, it was reported that SAG gave up its long-mandated first-class airline travel mandate for its members.

Of course, numbers count.

With the resignation of Membership First board member Connie Stevens earlier in the week, the coalition's ranks have diminished to just 11 national board members.