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SAG Ponders Deal

10 Jul, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel



Screen Actors Guild (SAG) leadership continued to mull over a contract proffered by The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) the evening of July 10.

The AMPTP's final offer to SAG includes more than $250 million in additional compensation over the course of the three-year contract, as well as new-media terms.

The current contract, which expired June 30, is still being recognized on an interim basis.

“It is a complex process, and we have nothing to report until we conclude,” SAG spokesperson Pamela Greenwalt said July 10.

Producers said they would make wage and salary increases outlined in their offer retroactive to July 1 if it is ratified by Aug. 15. Still, producers did not revise the DVD residual rate — a source of considerable consternation to SAG president Alan Rosenberg. The current DVD residual rate pays 3% for TV and 3.6% (movies) of the distributor's gross receipts.

The actors' resolve to present a united front against AMPTP received a jolt last week when members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) ratified (with 62.4% of the vote) a three-year TV contract with the producers. Producers said they hoped the vote demonstrated to the SAG leadership that there was support for the recent deals forged with writers, directors and AFTRA.

“We remain hopeful that SAG will accept our final offer,” the producers said in a statement.

Rosenberg, who is a staunch supporter of upping DVD residual rates, said he realized the AFTRA deal would appeal to its many broadcast news people, sportscasters and DJs.

“Clearly many SAG members responded to our education and outreach campaign and voted against the inadequate AFTRA agreement,” Rosenberg said. He said more than 4,500 members had signed the “SAG Solidarity Statement,” in support of their negotiators.

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