Sunday, February 28, 2010

AFTRA Board Approves Joint Bargaining With SAG

From the Digital Media Law Blog by Jonathan Handel

At a videoconference meeting today in New York and LA, AFTRA’s national board unanimously voted to approve joint bargaining with SAG for the Primetime Television Contract and the SAG TV/theatrical contract. The move comes a month after SAG’s national board voted, by a tally of 82% to 18%, to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract.”

Assuming SAG and AFTRA sign a formal agreement to bargain jointly – which seems highly likely – the negotiations with the AMPTP (studio alliance) will be conducted under the Phase One agreement that had been used for decades, with the notable exception of the most recent negotiating cycle, in 2008-2009. That’s good news for an industry that can ill-afford another strike or year-long stalemate.

In a statement, AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon cited “productive discussions with our counterparts at Screen Actors Guild” and added, “I look forward to continuing our work with SAG President Ken Howard and the leadership and members of our sister union as we move forward to bargain the strongest possible contracts for professional talent.” SAG was equally enthusiastic, commenting through a spokeswoman that the AFTRA vote was “terrific news for the memberships of both unions and we look forward to an effective negotiation."

To read the full article, and see the agreement, click here.