SAG/AFTRA-agency contract boosts
session fees 7%; P&W to 14.3%

The lightning-fast negotiations for a proposed new three-year SAG/AFTRA commercials contract providing a 6.1% to 15% boost in payments was approved Oct. 1 by a huge margin by the two actors unions and the advertising industry.

By a vote of 81% to 19% taken by videoconference, both SAG/AFTRA’s joint boards and the Joint Policy Committee of the 4As and the Assn. of National Advertisers recommended the new package’s ratification by the unions’ 140,000 members.

Main points of the new contract include:

In television and radio:

  • 7% gain in session, holding, foreign, theatrical/industrial and Internet fees;
  • 1% pension and health plan contribution increase (from 13.3% to 14.3%).

    In television only:

  • 5% increase in wild spot use;
  • 5% increase in cable for on-camera performers;
  • 6.1% increase in session fees for background performers and an increase of five covered jobs.
  • 14% increase in the ratio applied to the off-camera principal performers in cable;
  • 15% increase in Spanish language program use;
  • The creation of a special subcommittee of the Industry Union Standing Committee to study the issue of “multiplexing,” the practice of broadcasting two or more programs simultaneously over different channels of the same network.

    In radio only:

  • 7% increase in wild spot use;
  • The creation and implementation of Standard Employment Contracts.

    A majority vote by the unions’ membership is required for ratification. The vote will be completed before the current contract expires on Oct. 29, 2003.