Actors’ Unions Agree to New Commercials Contracts

LOS ANGELES: Members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists approved new three-year successor agreements to their 2006 commercial contracts, the unions said this week. AFTRA and SAG members voted nearly 94 percent in favor of the new agreements. The deal covers performers working in commercials made and reused for TV, radio, the Internet and new media. The contract provides a 5 percent pay hike worth around $108 million in member earnings, and a combined $24 million in pension and health contributions for both unions. The unions said the total value of the contracts is estimated to be $3 billion over the three-year period.

The contracts contain the “first-ever payment structure in commercials for the Internet and new media, the unions said. They also outline terms for a pilot study to test the Gross Rating Points model of restructuring compensation to principle performers, as proposed by Booz & Co. The two-year pilot study will be conducted by a consultant agreed to by both unions.

SAG represents 120,000 actors; AFTRA, around 70,000. A total of 132,000 members of both unions received ballots; 28 percent of them were returned. The contracts are retroactive to April 1, 2009 and are in effect through March 31, 2012. -- Deborah D. McAdams