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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SAG Agrees To New Contract Through 2011.

The Screen Actors Guild decided (78% of voting members) to ratify a two-year contract covering movies and prime-time television shows made by the major Hollywood studios. The new contract immediately raises actors' minimum pay by 3% and grants an additional 3.5% raise in the second year of the deal, which along with better pension benefits and some Internet compensation gives them $105 million in overall gains.

About 110,000 guild members were sent ballots and more than 35% cast votes. The new contract did not improve upon the Internet terms that other unions already accepted. Negotiators that were replaced in January had sought more lucrative Web compensation. The battle ended up hurting SAG as TV studios such as ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS sent most of their new work Aftra's way. SAG maintains exclusive jurisdiction over feature films.

The deal comes nearly a year after the last contract expired, meaning guild actors lost out on the first year of proposed raises that the studios estimated totaled nearly $80 million. The new contract took effect after midnight and expires on June 30, 2011.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the coalition of major studios, called the ratification "good news for the entertainment industry." (WSJ, AP, June 10, 2009)
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