MINORITY REPORT ~ PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS
The 2017 TV/Theatrical Negotiations were hamstrung from the very start.
The Los Angeles W&W’s made it perfectly clear that Made-for-Basic Cable and Pay Cable (HBO, Showtime, etc.) residuals were to be a top priority. That work makes up 45% of our current TV work. The residuals associated with this work have been, and now continue to be, unlivable. A specious argument was made by Unite for Strength that “Cable is dying… It’s in the past”. Not when it’s almost HALF our work! Basic Cable and Pay Cable never even got to the Bargaining Table.
Just some of the giveaways in this negotiation:
Diginets are VHF sub-channels. Like Channel 5.1 and 5.2.
In the last negotiation, we allowed our work, which was over three years old after cancellation, to be used on these channels at an extremely discounted rate.
Where we would get a syndicated residual, in the amount of hundreds/thousands of dollars per episode, we discounted those residuals to a “revenue based residual”… Lowering those residuals to pennies on the dollar.
We have now in this new contract given away our entire library of work that has been immediately cancelled off their original platform, for those same pennies on the dollar.
The new deal guarantees a whopping $225 for half hour shows and $450 for hour long shows.
Now, you might say, "Well… I can accept $225 or $450 for my show that just got cancelled."
Please understand the con job. That money is SPLIT AMONGST THE ENTIRE CAST – for the entire length of the license. Usually 3 to 5 years. So say hell-o to your $15.00 residual… If you’re lucky.
30 MILE ZONE
The decades old, Tried and True, Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone has now been expanded another 10 miles. In effect making it now a 40-Mile Zone.
Longer travel for free.
REUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Your name/voice/likeness can now be lifted from any episode of a series from any year and be inserted into any other episode of the same series. And you have no say over it. And… You can’t negotiate. It’s scale… Period.
We went into this Negotiation to “Disavow the practice of Producer’s Base”.
Instead of disavowing it… We Codified it!
Now, wherever we go IN THE WORLD, to do Television work… We are no longer on Location. We’re at “Producer’s Base”.
Producers Base never existed outside of LA up until a few years ago. All travel was Overnight Locations, and we received all of those provisions. Just because Management made up that all locations were Producers Base, the language did not exist in our contract, and now, with this Tentative Agreement, precedence has been set for Overnight Locations. This compromises, lowers and invades our decades-long location provisions.
We were bought off with a $10,000 relocation fee and one set of round-trip airline tickets for Series Regulars.
This fee is supposed to cover a Series Regular's expenses for as long as the time it takes to shoot up to 22 episodes of a series.
How long does that money last?
The rest of what used to be production costs are now on your back.
Rent, car, travel costs back to your actual home, etc.
Your work-time is now calculated from “Set-To-Set”. Meaning your travel, no matter how long it is, is not counted as work-time.
One hour to-and-from your home or hotel means you in essence now have a 10-hour turnaround.
This doesn’t just affect us. All the other crew and service people work off of our clock. They’ve now been screwed too.
The estimate is that Series Regulars will still have to pay $16.8 Million dollars out of pocket in relocation fees over the three-year term of the contract.
We MUST preserve Portal-to-Portal.
Travel time used to be “work-time”. It’s now $500/a-day time. BAD DEAL!
Waiving all travel claims is a huge issue. That the Union said they really didn’t take them seriously; that it was only a negotiating tactic, (when they told performers they were going to fight for them), shows a complete disconnect and lack of sensitivity to SAG-AFTRA members.
One of our main concerns and proposals. No real meaningful headway.
MINORITY REPORT ~ BACKGROUND PERFORMER
Our Union leadership is touting “historic” gains for BG Actors in this contract. But, honestly - are they?
- West Coast Zones, Schedule X-1 (see Section VIII, Paragraph A of the Summary):
BG Actors will now earn double-time after the 10th hour, achieving parity with the New York Schedule X-2 contract. While this may now be a gain, remember - double-time after 10 was bargained away when SAG reclaimed jurisdiction of West Coast BG Actors in 1992. New York BG Actors have always earned double-time after 10 - as have non-union BG Actors in the State of California. Bottom line: West Coast SAG-AFTRA BG Actors will have to work more than 10 hours to see this increase in pay - and working overtime is never guaranteed. And again, while this is technically a gain, it is simply a return to what was lost - twenty-five years ago - in 1992.
-Section 83 of TV Agreement (see Section VIII, Paragraph B, of the Summary):
BG Actors will receive an 18% pay increase to the CW rates by switching to the Schedule X-1, X-2 TV/Theatrical terms and conditions. The $137 CW daily rate will increase to $162 (the SAG-Legacy rate) - and, in addition, will get the proposed 2.5% TV/Theatrical rate increase, followed by a 3% increase per year for the last two years of the Tentative Contract - (unless, of course, the Board decides to divert .5% of each additional 3% pay increase to the SAG Pension or AFTRA Retirement Funds - a move more than likely since the SAG Pension fund is only 78% funded now).
Here is what you are losing in order to get that raise:
The irrevocable loss of wall-to-wall Union coverage. The new agreement aligns the CW terms and conditions with Schedules X-1 and X-2 caps. Again - an increase in rates, but a loss of Union jobs - with the elimination of wall-to-wall coverage.
The loss of national coverage. Under the terms of the CW Supplement, all television projects were contractually obligated to provide national BG coverage. No longer. With the passage of this Tentative Agreement, all national coverage is lost - permanently.
In addition, when other contracts that use the CW contract terms and conditions (i.e., Disney/It’s a Laugh and King St./TV Land) come up for renewal - and the CW Contract is no longer available - bargaining for new terms will have to start from scratch - and if the TV/Theatrical X-1/X-2 contract terms and conditions are chosen (as happened with Nickelodeon), fewer BG performers will be covered.
Loss of payment for multiple episodes on the same day.
Loss of a wardrobe payment for the first outfit worn.
Loss of the 12-hour rest period between consecutive work days and the $20 per-hour rest period penalty violation.
- Schedules X-1 and X-2 of the TV/Theatrical Agreement (see Section VIII, Paragraph C, of the Summary):
The photo double rate will be raised approximately 17% to equal the rate of stand-ins. While this is certainly a gain, remember: Photo doubles are infrequently used, but when they are, they are often upgraded to stand-in duties, which simply means - one check for two jobs.
-Los Angeles Secondary Studio Zone (see Section XII, Paragraph K, of the Summary):
Creating a secondary 10-mile studio zone (increasing the zone from 30 to 40 miles including John Wayne Airport) hurts BG, because in the past, waivers were granted when Production wanted to do this. Central would negotiate a car allowance of $37.50 for the change. The new contract only gives a $4.50 extra allowance instead. Adding 10 miles to the zone potentially erodes overtime. Depending on traffic that could mean 20 minutes to 2 hours round trip.
10-MILE REPORTING RADIUS
-Schedule X-1 (see Section XII, Paragraph M, of the Summary):
No mileage reimbursement is due when West Coast BG are required to report to work or to a pick-up point within a 10-mile radius of a point designated by the Producer. This “reporting radius” provision has previously only applied to Principals. By including BG Actors, it now results in a maximum loss of $6.00 in mileage.
- (see Section VI, Paragraph C, sub-paragraph (f) of the Summary):
The changes in the Portal-to-Portal provisions, now codifying Set-To-Set for Principals, will not only impact their “turn-around” reporting times, it will also impact the “turn-around" times of the crew - and Background Actors. Remember: “turn-around” affects everyone.
Bottom Line - Organizing work is one of the founding principals of every Union - creating MORE job opportunities, not less:
In the twenty-five years since SAG reclaimed jurisdiction of West Coast Union Background Actors (from SEG), BG have regained only 6 of the 15 TV jobs that were initially taken away during negotiation (a net loss of 9 jobs) - and East Coast BG have never regained the 30 television jobs or the 15 theatrical jobs they lost during negotiations in 1998 (a net loss of 45 jobs).
The elimination of available jobs under the CW Supplement - and the utter failure to increase the numbers for Union BG Performers working in film and television under the X-1 & X-2 Agreements; or to even achieve parity between the West and the East, means only one thing - across-the-board lower incomes - and the growing impossibility to qualify for Pension and Health benefits.
JOBS MEAN EVERYTHING. An overtime raise means nothing if you don’t have a job.
Not even close.
Not even square one.
MINORITY REPORT ~ STUNTS
5% gain in only the first year; the Schedule K3 Flat deal for Stunt Coordinators is $83 on the Daily Contract and around $200 for the weekly.
We asked for Overtime. This is a Safety issue. Stunt Coordinators are working up to 14 hours a day on set and then have to be ready for the next day. They have a 9-hour turnaround with an additional hour that Management won’t codify.
Stunt Coordinators do not receive residuals or overtime. If they were to receive overtime, Production would let them go home to prep instead of holding them on set… “Just in case”.
Please Vote NO