“I was determined to redefine SAG-AFTRA as not only the largest entertainment union in the world, but the most powerful. And now that we have forged the biggest deal in industry history which broke pattern, established new revenue streams and passed a historic $1 billion plus dollar deal with the most progressive AI protections ever written, I feel pretty confident in saying this is a paradigm shift of seismic proportions! Onward and upwards!” - SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher.
118 Days later, and the Actors Strike ends.
Members now get to review the terms and sign the agreement. (A member info meeting will be held this Monday, November 13th.)
The Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said:
"At its core, this deal is about our members and making sure they are able to maintain the dignity that comes with a career as an actor and performer."
It's interesting to hear that phrase, "maintain the dignity." What does that bring up for you, when you hear that about your artistic career?
Here are some of the major points of the agreement from SAG-AFTRA:
- The deal provides "meaningful" protections around the use of artificial intelligence, including informed consent and compensation for the creation and use of digital replicas of members, living and deceased, created on set or licensed for use.
- The agreement includes an unprecedented wage pattern with two wage increases in the first year of the contract – 7% upon ratification, and another 4% increase effective July 2024, making a compounded first year increase of 11.28%. There will be another 3.5% increase effective July 2025. This package breaks the so-called “industry pattern.”
- Wages for background actors will increase by 11% effective November 12, 2023, and then by an additional 4% effective July 1, 2024 and by another 3.5% effective July 1, 2025. And in a monumental breakthrough, for the first time ever, the number of covered positions in the West Coast Zones will equal those of the East Coast Zones. This is projected to add almost 11,000 new covered background work days annually.
- A nearly 43% increase to the contribution cap for one-hour productions and nearly 67% increase to the cap for half-hour productions will result in increased contributions to the Health and Pension/Retirement funds, as well as help performers working on those shows to continue qualifying for benefit coverage.
- For performers working in streaming, it provides a substantial bonus on top of existing residuals structures making work in streaming more sustainable for middle class actors. The majority of that compensation will be paid to actors on programs meeting certain viewership requirements. The remaining money will be distributed to other actors working on those streaming platforms through a new, jointly-trusteed distribution fund. This ensures improved compensation and sustainability for a wider range of actors contributing to the success of those platforms.
- Additional gains include establishing minimums by applying television terms to high budget made-for-AVOD programming.
- Meaningful protections for the casting process have been established, including provisions specifying that breakdowns, sides, and/or scripts shall be provided no less than 48 hours prior to the submission deadline (excluding weekends and holidays). This is increased to 72 hours for minors. Talent may not be asked to perform more than eight (8) industry standard pages for a first self-tape or twelve (12) industry standard pages for a second or subsequent call back. Additionally, if memorization is required, performers will be entitled to compensation.
- Substantial improvements in relocation allowances for series performers were also made, covering $5,000 per month for up to 6 months with no cap on the number of seasons. Based on employment patterns, this amounts to a 153% effective increase in relocation payments.
In a press release, SAG-AFTRA says the gains achieved in the contract are expected to generate over $1 billion in new compensation and funding to the benefit plans.
Congratulations to the negotiating team! To support the end of this exhausting strike and in looking forward to hopefully more work with higher pay, let's talk about how we can create a more conscious way of spending and being with our money. I'm hosting a FREE workshop on Monday, November 20th. Just click on the button below to join.
With lots of GRATITUDE & IN CELEBRATION,