LOS ANGELES—SAG-AFTRA has announced that its members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the 2022 SAG-AFTRA Netflix Agreement with 89.03% voting in favor of the new contract.
The SAG-AFTRA National Board approved the tentative contract on Aug. 8 at a special meeting and overwhelmingly recommended that members vote to ratify it. The vote, which was done online and through requested paper ballots, began Aug. 10, when ratification materials were made available to members, the union said.
“The gains we achieved in this contract are historic,” said SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher in a statement. “A convergence of opportunities to leverage presented themselves. Now was the time to strike while the iron was hot or forever be chasing contract reconstruction always outside our grasp. The advances in reducing exclusivity are seminal. The journeyman actor now has the freedom to work multiple jobs and make a living with less restrictions. Our negotiating committee, staff, board and member body all came together in perfect harmony. We now enter into a new chapter that levels the playing field, giving actors the respect and dignity they so rightfully deserve!”
SAG-AFTRA reached the groundbreaking first, direct union agreement covering Netflix programming in 2019. The agreement was set to expire June 30, but was extended through the conclusion of negotiations.
Bargaining on a successor contract began June 27 and continued through Aug. 2. The Netflix agreement applies to scripted, dramatic episodic and feature-length productions made by Netflix Studios, LLC.
Highlights of the agreement include:
- A new Albuquerque Background Actor Zone is established within a 30-mile radius around Albuquerque City Hall. This represents the first new background zone in 24 years.
- For the first time under any agreement, stunt coordinators will be paid a fixed residual for the continued exhibition on Netflix of a high-budget streaming program produced under the Netflix Agreement.
- The Netflix Dubbing Agreement has been expanded to include dubbing into Spanish. The terms for Spanish-language dubbing will match the terms that apply to English dubbing.
- The agreement includes major improvements in options and exclusivity rules for series regulars below the new money breaks which have substantially increased. It creates a new “conflict-free window” of at least three months during each season, in which performers may accept a permitted appearance on another show or network without first confirming availability and potential scheduling with Netflix.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.