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SAG Board Approves ‘Tentative’ Deal, Tells Members To Say Yea

The national board of the Screen Actors Guild is sending a contract to its members for a vote after more than a year of oscillating between standstills, rancor and negotiations. But in keeping with the organization’s internal split, the decision to accept a “tentative” deal with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers wasn’t even close to unanimous: 53.38 percent to 46.62 percent. As reported Friday, the contract is for two years and will expire with the other major Hollywood unions instead of AMPTP’s proposed three-year term, overcoming a major obstacles for SAG.

SAG declined roughly the same deal that AFTRA approved back in July and was approved earlier by the WGA and DGA, claiming it wanted more when it comes to new media. So far, not seeing a ton of daylight and even SAG says the deal “tracks those achieved by other industry unions.”

For AMPTP, it’s the eighth major labor agreement since the wave started in 2008. From the producers’ website: “Because both sides were willing to compromise we now have an agreement that will provide SAG members with meaningful wage boosts, pension increases, first-class health benefits, and a complete set of new media rights and residuals.”

Some details from the SAG statement:

Jurisdiction on all high-budget originals made for new media, on any low-budget originals with at least one SAG member and on derivative productions made for new media.

Residuals for electronic sell through (EST) at a higher rate than DVDs, ad-supported streaming of feature films and TV shows and derivative new media programs.

— If ratified, it would expire June 30, 2011.

— an “effective” 3.5 percent annual increase: 3 percent wage and .5 percent in pension and health contributions in year one; 3.5 percent wage increase in year two.

The ballots should go out in early May.

Update: Variety: “… the biggest challenge is still ahead for guild leaders: gaining ratification approval from the 120,000 guild members. It won’t be easy given the vehement opposition to the tentative two-year agreement from SAG prexy Alan Rosenberg and his allies. The deal is expected to secure approval by a majority of SAG voters, but a pitched PR battle is sure to ensue in the next few weeks as SAG hardliners try to rally as many no votes as possible to send a message to the guild’s new executive regime — and to set the tone for SAG’s fall election of officers and board members.”

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