Following a secret ballot referendum conducted between Nov. 10 and Dec. 1, voting members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) elected to approve the proposed commercial contract between the unions and the Joint Policy Committee (JPC) of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
According to a joint statement made by the unions, 124,724 ballots were mailed to SAG and AFTRA members. Of that mailing, 42,768 ballots were completed, representing 34.3 percent total return. The breakdown of votes was 41,064 members, or 96 percent in favor the new contracts, with 1,623 members, or 3.8 percent, not in favor. There were 53 ballots invalid ballots. Independent return rates were not broken out for either union.
In addition to holding their own on established royalty rates, the unions made modest gains in one contested area, cable television residuals. On the plus side, the actors also earned “recognition of jurisdiction of commercials recorded for the Internet,” as well as the “establishment of a joint committee to assist in developing and implementing a monitoring program for radio commercials.”
The new contract is retroactive to Oct. 30 of 2000 and valid through Oct. 29, 2003.
—By Murdoch McBride