Sunday, August 1, 2010

SAG TV/Theatrical Contract Negotiations

Negotiations: Staying in Step
In preparation for talks with our employers, along with our partner AFTRA, we have begun listening to your thoughts regarding the contracts you work. You may think that we simply hold some member meetings around the country, and then we go negotiate on your behalf, right? In reality, negotiation is a five-step process….

1. We are now more than half way through the initial TV/Theatrical Wages and Working Conditions process, also known as the W&W. From coast to coast, Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA members and staff have been jointly holding committee meetings and caucuses with the purpose of putting together proposals to be negotiated this fall with the AMPTP. Washington-Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Nashville and Los Angeles are some of the areas where these member meetings and caucuses are being held. Check your Branch website for up-to-the-minute notices regarding these very important events.

2. All the proposals gathered from around the country are taken and presented to the Joint SAG/AFTRA W&W Plenary Committee. This is a national committee populated by 26 members, 13 members from SAG and 13 members from AFTRA. This committee is charged with the daunting task of reviewing and discussing each and every proposal received during the W&W process. With staff’s recommendations, it creates a tentative package of proposals that it can recommend to the Joint National Boards of SAG and AFTRA for approval. This committee is scheduled to meet later in the summer.

3. The national boards of SAG and AFTRA meet in joint session to debate and ultimately vote on the recommended proposal package sent to them by the Joint W& W Plenary Committee. Motions that give guidance to the chief negotiators and the Negotiating Committee are approved at this time as well. After a proposal package is approved, it is then exchanged with the AMPTP for their proposal package on a specific date and time to be determined by both parties.

4. The negotiations themselves occur in late September or early October. If the negotiations result in a tentative agreement, then that would bring us to our final step.

5. The tentative agreement is sent to the memberships of both unions in a referendum on whether to accept or decline the tentative agreement. This usually occurs within 30 days of the end of negotiations, during which time membership meetings are held in cities across America to answer the memberships’ questions and to explain the deal points.

However, we are still in Step 1, so please participate in this process. Bring your work experience and knowledge to the crafting of proposals. If you can’t be there in person, you can continue to e-mail proposals to the Guild at through August 16. 

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