The performers union, SAG-AFTRA, has reached a deal with the studios for a new three-year contract covering theatrical, television and new media production. The proposal will still need to be approved by the national board and the membership before taking effect.
The proposed contract is patterned on the agreement struck by the Directors Guild earlier this year. It includes wage increases and increased pension and health contributions. The most critical improvement, however, is improved residuals for high-budget streaming productions on services such as Amazon and Hulu.
This leaves only the Writers Guild of America without a deal among the above-the-line unions. The WGA Agreement was schedule to expire on April 30, but the parties agreed to extend until June 30 in light of the COVID pandemic. There was widespread apprehension of a writers’ strike at the beginning of the year, and the negotiations have not been smooth. At one point, the WGA called the studios group “despicable.” The WGA is also engaged in a battle, in and out of court, with the major talent agencies over package commissions. The pandemic has dampened strike talk somewhat. Attention has turned to establishing protocols for reopening production as writers look forward to an uncertain job market.