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SAG-AFTRA board approves 3-year contract with film and TV producers

SAG-AFTRA board overwhelmingly approves new contract with film and TV producers, first since union merger

SAG-AFTRA's national board has overwhelmingly approved a new film and TV contract for actors and other performers.

Ninety percent of the board's members voted Saturday night in favor of the tentative agreement, reached July 4, between Hollywood's largest union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the major studios.

The new three-year contract, which still must be ratified by the union's members, includes a 2.5% wage hike in the first year of the accord and 3% hikes in the second and third years. The union, which has more than 165,000 members, also secured a small increase in contributions that producers make to guild members' pension and health plans.

In addition to providing coverage for such big-budget Netflix shows as "Orange Is the New Black," and "House of Cards," the producers agreed to pay slightly higher residuals for shows created for advertising-supported Internet sites.

The talks represent the first time the union has bargained on a film and TV contract since the Screen Actors Guild merged with its smaller rival union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, two years ago.

“I am grateful to the board for its approval and recommendation of this agreement and I am proud of what the negotiating team was able to achieve in this negotiation," SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said in a statement. "This landmark agreement includes provisions that will serve the members for years to come.”

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White added: "this negotiation embraces the many changes sweeping the industry and positions our membership for strength at the bargaining table in the years ahead.”

Negotiations began in May, two months before the expiration of the union's current contract.  Members will begin voting on the new contract later this month. Results will be tallied on Aug. 22, the union said.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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