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SAG-AFTRA and Studios Begin Contract Talks Amid Pandemic Upheaval – Variety

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SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood’s main studios are starting negotiations as we speak for a successor settlement to the union’s grasp movie and TV contract amid loads of concern within the trade about how SAG-AFTRA and WGA negotiations will unfold within the pandemic-rocked financial local weather.

The performers union, which has about 160,000 members, and the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers shocked the trade on April 24 with the announcement that talks would start as we speak by way of video teleconference as a consequence of California’s stay-at-home order. SAG-AFTRA’s present three-year grasp contract expires in two months on June 30.

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris will chair the union’s negotiating committee and nationwide govt director David White will function SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator. The lead negotiator for the AMPTP might be president Carol Lombardini.

Neither aspect addressed what is going to occur with the scheduled contract negotiations between Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild of America. The WGA talks, which had been anticipated to begin Might 11, had been pushed into uncertainty final week when the edges sparred over the WGA’s request that the AMPTP briefly ease eligibility necessities for the well being plan. The trade prompted WGA West govt director and lead negotiator David Younger to name his studio counterparts “despicable” in a letter to Lombardini.

The AMPTP introduced April 18 that it had authorized a Might 11 beginning date with the WGA and a provision that either side would trade negotiating proposals on Might 1. Lombardini assented in a letter to the timetable proposed by Younger, together with extending the contract expiration from Might 1 to June 30.

The potential stumbling block facilities on Younger’s proposal in his April 15 letter that the WGA Well being Fund — collectively administered by representatives of the guild and the studios — prolong eligibility to plan contributors by the tip of the yr.  Lombardini mentioned within the letter to Younger that she would want to conduct discussions amongst studio reps earlier than she might reply. In a letter that went public on April 23, Younger responded, “There might be an settlement when either side agree there’s one. You persons are despicable.”

Neither the AMPTP or the WGA has responded since then. For now, the one certainty is that SAG-AFTRA is once more following the close-to-the-vest playbook of the Administrators Guild of America. The DGA deal, ratified April 2, consists of beneficial properties in residuals for members engaged on unique SVOD sequence, will increase in employer contributions to the pension plan; and annual wage will increase (2.5% within the first yr, 3% within the second and third).

As regular, leaders of SAG-AFTRA are releasing no particulars of their proposal previous to negotiations and holding the talks below a information blackout. The SAG-AFTRA nationwide board authorized the proposals for the function film-primetime TV contract practically a yr in the past in July — with out ever disclosing the substance of these proposals. On the identical assembly, the SAG-AFTRA leaders additionally authorized a separate three-year take care of Netflix that expires on June 30, 2022. That deal didn’t require ratification by the membership.

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