SAG-AFTRA’s Efforts Helped Seal Exclusivity Offers With Netflix & AMPTP – Deadline

A confluence of onerous bargaining and legislative lobbying helped safe vital features in two new agreements SAG-AFTRA reached earlier this month masking exclusivity, that are customary provisions in TV contracts that may maintain TV collection regulars off the market and unable to work for unreasonably lengthy intervals of time, guild leaders mentioned in a podcast launched on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the union reached an settlement with the Alliance of Movement Image & Tv Producers on new exclusivity provisions, and SAG-AFTRA’s nationwide board will meet on Saturday to approve it. The guild additionally reached a tentative settlement with Netflix earlier this month that features new exclusivity phrases, and members are actually voting to ratify it.

SAG-AFTRA leaders, nevertheless, say their lobbying for a invoice that’s nearing the end line within the California legislature is what that lastly bought the businesses to maneuver on the difficulty. That guild-sponsored invoice – AB 437 – dubbed the Let Actors Work (LAW) Act, would sharply restrict exclusivity in TV actors’ offers.

“The very fact of the matter is that our legislative actions gave us the leverage that we wanted to perform a number of what was accomplished on this negotiation about choices and exclusivity,” mentioned SAG-AFTRA Nationwide Govt Director Duncan Crabtree-Eire throughout the guild’s podcast in regards to the new Netflix settlement. “And generally I do hear from members who ask: ‘Why do now we have lobbying? Why do now we have a legislative program? How is that what we ought to be actually doing as a union?’ And I believe that is the proper instance. Right here, our legislative actions line up immediately with our contract negotiations. They’re about core phrases that our members are working underneath as performers on this trade.”

Talking on the podcast in regards to the new Netflix settlement, Ray Rodriquez, the guild’s chief contracts officer, agreed that these negotiations bought a giant increase from the pending laws.

“The adjustments that we achieved within the space of choices and exclusivity – now we have been attempting to make these enhancements for greater than 10 years in collective bargaining,” he mentioned. “We’ve made extraordinary efforts; we’ve met with community presidents and the CEOs of studios. We’ve introduced delegations of members to speak to them about how critical this downside was, about how pressing it was to get this downside fastened…The unusual bargaining course of for these contracts had confirmed inadequate to get us to what we wanted to do within the space of choices and exclusivity, and it actually was this legislative initiative that gave us the extra leverage and made such a visual distinction.

“The way in which the businesses have responded on this subject whereas this laws has been pending represents a night-and-day distinction than how they have been responding to us when there wasn’t laws pending…And so the timing lined up completely for us to make use of the truth that we had that laws pending as additional leverage to get adjustments that we want in that space, but in addition the (Netflix) settlement was expired and it was time to renegotiate the settlement that we first established with Netflix in 2019.

“I simply wish to reiterate the legislative part of that,” added Ben Whitehair, SAG-AFTRA’s govt vp. “To me, as a member, it’s one other instance of the ways in which SAG-AFTRA is preventing on behalf of members. We take into consideration the contract negotiations and enforcement, but it surely’s a strong reminder in seeing how the legislative work that the union does as effectively is yet one more space that may present features or leverage for our members. So I simply wish to spotlight that as a result of it actually helps flesh out, you understand, when individuals say, ‘What precisely does SAG-AFTRA do?’ – that these are among the most core features: we’re negotiating contracts with the employers; we’re working to get higher phrases and circumstances for our members; we’re preventing to maintain this stuff enforced, and we’re going out and getting laws within the works if wanted to do this as effectively.”

SAG-AFTRA spent $1,097,586 for “political actions and lobbying” in assist of laws helpful to its members throughout its final fiscal yr, in response to its newest monetary disclosure report filed with the U.S. Division of Labor. The guild, nevertheless, doesn’t endorse or contribute to political candidates.

In line with SAG-AFTRA, main adjustments to the choices and exclusivity guidelines giving collection regulars the suitable to work on different packages when they aren’t working for his or her Netflix collection embody:
• Rising the choices and exclusivity cash breaks from $40,000 per episode or per week to $65,000 per episode or per week for half-hour packages and $70,000 per episode or per week for one-hour packages. This implies many extra collection regulars will likely be protected by the choices and exclusivity phrases of the collective bargaining settlement that give them extra freedom to work.
• Secured the suitable for a performer to be a second-position collection common on one other collection or a second-position lead in a miniseries every calendar yr, along with limitless visitor star appearances and limitless visitor star recurring roles of no more than six episodes per season of a collection.
• Netflix can now not refuse to permit a collection common to seem on one other program as a result of that program is made for pay tv, a streaming service or a linear channel that has the suitable to stream this system inside 30 days.
• Netflix can now not refuse to permit a collection common to seem on one other program as a result of one other collection common appeared on the identical season of that collection.
• Netflix should present a “conflict-free window” of no less than three months (and, if potential, longer) following principal pictures of every season throughout which a collection common can commit their time to a different program with out having to substantiate availability or schedule with Netflix.
• Choice train timelines have been decreased, and the flexibility to increase them can be decreased and made dearer, which means collection regulars will know a lot sooner whether or not Netflix will make use of them for an additional season of the collection.
• For the primary time in any contract, there may be now a deadline for beginning a collection common’s providers for a subsequent season of a collection and/or commencing cost to them for these providers: Three months after choice train, with the flexibility to increase by one other two months in change for a non-recoupable, subsequent-season episodic price.

Different features within the new Netflix settlement, which has been overwhelmingly permitted by the guild’s nationwide board, embody a first-ever background protection zone in Albuquerque, New Mexico, masking all stand-ins and the primary 10 background actors; residuals for stunt coordinators for continued exhibition of their high-budget streaming packages on Netflix, utilizing the day performer minimal as the idea for the residual calculation, and the institution of Juneteenth as a brand new contractual vacation.

As a part of the settlement, Netflix may also turn into a member of the AMPTP – the bargaining arm for the main corporations. And whereas the Netflix Settlement will survive Netflix’s membership within the AMPTP, future negotiations with Netflix will happen concurrently with AMPTP negotiations.

Membership voting on the brand new Netflix deal, which is now underway, will conclude on Aug. 31.

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