SAG-AFTRA members approve new deal with Hollywood studios

3 Min Read

Following an almost four-month strike that paralyzed Hollywood, members of the actors union SAG-AFTRA approved a new contract Tuesday, Dec. 5, the guild said.

The vote by the union’s membership was 78.33% to 21.67%, the union said in a statement, adding that turnout was 38.15%.

Under the deal, SAG-AFTRA’s more than 150,000 members with speaking roles receive an immediate 7% pay raise, followed by another 4% increase next summer and a 3.5% hike a year later. Background actors’ pay rises by 11% right away, followed by the same two additional hikes afterward.

“I’m proud of our SAG-AFTRA membership,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement. “They struck for 118 days to grant the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee the necessary leverage to secure over $1 billion in gains, along with the union’s first-ever protections around AI technology. Now they’ve locked in the gains by ratifying the contract.”

A tentative agreement had been reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, on Nov. 8, which ended the strike. (The alliance, or AMPTP, represents NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)

The outcome follows a grueling 118-day strike that squeezed the finances of tens of thousands of workaday actors before ending in a tentative agreement last month, followed by tense debate over its terms.

Some SAG-AFTRA members, including several on the union’s national board, said the agreement’s protections around the use of artificial intelligence in film and TV productions didn’t go far enough. Others criticized how actors would be compensated for content on streaming platforms, an area where the union accepted a compromise that fell short of its initial demands.

In the final days of balloting, expectations ran high for a potentially close outcome, with Linda Powell, the union’s executive vice president, telling NBC News over the weekend that she’d be pleased if the deal were approved by even 51%. She and other SAG-AFTRA leaders defended the proposed contract from critics and urged rank-and-file members to support it.

“Is it perfect? No. But it is groundbreaking,” chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told NBC News on Saturday. “It’s a deal that achieves what our members need us to achieve with very significant increases in economics, more than the last three negotiations combined.”

Two other major Hollywood unions, the Writers Guild of America, which represents screenwriters, and the Directors Guild of America, both overwhelmingly approved their own contract deals earlier this year — the former after a 148-day work stoppage, and the latter without striking.

Share This Article
By admin
test bio
Leave a comment
Please login to use this feature.