Entertainment

SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee Addresses Top Actors’ Proposal – Deadline


As SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher took to Instagram Thursday night to thank George Clooney and other A-list actors for their “extremely generous” proposal which they hoped would help end the current impasse between the guild and the studios, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee also addressed the offer in a letter to the membership Thursday.

Similarly to Drescher’s video, the negotiating committee’s letter expressed gratitude to the top actors for their donations as well their “suggestions, in particular with regard to our streaming sharing proposal and the AMPTP‘s characterization that we are asking for too much.”

The star-studded group had proposed to remove the cap on dues that would bring in $150M more over the next three years from the highest earning guild members and to adjust the mechanism of residual distribution.

“This generous concept is worthy of consideration, but it is in no way related to and would have no bearing on this present contract or even as a subject of collective bargaining. It is, in fact, prohibited by Federal labor law,” the negotiating committee’s letter said. “For example, our Pension and Health plans are funded exclusively from employer contributions. It also doesn’t speak to the scale of the overall package. Having said that, their creativity and earnest desire to help solve the impasse are very much appreciated.”

The letter went on to recap the evolution of SAG-AFTRA’s revenue sharing plan until the major media company CEO’s walked away from the negotiations last week and stressed that it is just one piece of the overall package proposal, calling out the studios for continuing “to refuse to counter many of our absolutely vital proposals including the minimum wage rates.”

Noting that the SAG-AFTRA strike is nearing the 100-day mark, the committee addressed the companies directly.

“AMPTP, it’s time to negotiate genuinely, valuing our contributions and solidifying an industry that champions everyone within it. We subsidized the growth of the streaming model with reduced rates and low to non-existent residuals. It’s time to share in the success we’ve helped build.”

Here is the full letter:

Dear SAG-AFTRA members,

In this time of adversity and hardship, our unwavering solidarity, along with that of our sister union members, is truly inspiring. For 98 days, we’ve stood strong, united in our pursuit of justice, fairness, and the value we bring to the industry. The WGA triumphed after 148 hard-fought days, proof that perseverance will break the toughest barriers and result in the transformative change we need to justify everyone’s sacrifices.

The AMPTP continues to attempt to sow division amongst us, misrepresenting our proposals and trying to manipulate public sentiment. Yet, even as they walked away, we all remained steadfast, refusing to be swayed by anything less than what we rightfully deserve.

We’re grateful that a few of our most successful members have engaged to offer ideas and support. Beyond donating extraordinary sums of money to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation in support of members during the strike, these influential individuals have sought to offer suggestions, in particular with regard to our streaming sharing proposal and the AMPTP’s characterization that we are asking for too much. They have contemplated increasing the amount of money that the highest earners contribute to the union via raising their dues.

This generous concept is worthy of consideration, but it is in no way related to and would have no bearing on this present contract or even as a subject of collective bargaining. It is, in fact, prohibited by Federal labor law. For example, our Pension and Health plans are funded exclusively from employer contributions. It also doesn’t speak to the scale of the overall package.

Having said that, their creativity and earnest desire to help solve the impasse are very much appreciated. It is worth noting that the union has a very robust process to include the concerns of every member.

The fact that the heads of the networks, streaming companies and studios are open to communicating with them directly is great. But, the executives should not for one second think that they can use the good will of member emissaries to distract us from our mission.

We are not asking for too much. As a faithful bargaining partner, and understanding their stated concerns with our 2% revenue/subscription sharing proposal, we made a calculated adjustment. After several, seemingly constructive sessions, we pivoted from the plan we carefully and responsibly developed over the past year and dropped our ask to 1%. We did so, by restructuring our proposal, tailoring it to address their concerns. They responded by walking out and calling us greedy.
Our revenue/subscription sharing model is only one piece of our overall proposal package. The AMPTP continues to refuse to counter many of our absolutely vital proposals including the minimum wage rates that our membership are on strike to achieve.

So, for now, we encourage all members to champion our full proposal package and get out on the picket line. Throughout the course of this strike, higher profile members have marched and spoken loudly in favor of the Negotiating Committee securing a worthy deal. In that, we are united.
To our fearless strike captains, your resilience is awe-inspiring. The members of the Negotiating Committee were honored to join you this week on the lines to show our appreciation. Your contributions are essential to the success of this strike. With each day, we grow closer to creating a film and television industry where talent can thrive sustainably.

To our industry siblings – AFM, DGA, IATSE, WGA, Teamsters and the Basic Crafts – thank you for standing beside us, a testament to the unwavering bond of unionism, even in the face of shared hardships. We will not forget nor abandon you when it’s your turn at the table.

Let’s be clear: Our call is simple. AMPTP, it’s time to negotiate genuinely, valuing our contributions and solidifying an industry that champions everyone within it. We subsidized the growth of the streaming model with reduced rates and low to non-existent residuals. It’s time to share in the success we’ve helped build.

Just as the WGA weathered the storm, so shall we. Let’s draw strength from one another and trust that our unity will lead us to the contract we deserve.

One day longer. One day stronger. As long as it takes.

With love and in solidarity,
Your SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee



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