Following the news Wednesday night that the SAG-AFTRA strike had come to an end after nearly 120 days, supporters have been waiting to hear more details about the tentative agreement. Today, union president Fran Drescher, national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and others held a press conference following the SAG-AFTRA National Board’s meeting, which saw the board vote to approve the deal.
On November 9, SAG-AFTRA members received a letter from Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland that signaled the union’s return to work and outlined some broad strokes of what they called “a transformative contract” as well as a “revolutionary agreement” that signals “major breakthroughs in addressing compensation via residuals and protections from generative artificial intelligence technology while reaffirming the role human performers play in the production of film, television, and streaming entertainment.” As the months covering the strike clearly reveled, AI emerged as a major issue for both the actors and the studios represented by the AMPTP, as did streaming profits—both focal points for the WGA strike resolved earlier this year as well.
Some of the points highlighted in the letter include:
- More than one billion dollars in new wages and benefit plan funding;
- A streaming participation bonus;
- Minimum compensation increases that break the so-called “industry pattern;”
- For the first time, consent and compensation guardrails on the use of AI;
- Raised Pension & Health caps that will channel more value into our funds; and
- Critical protections for diverse communities.
At the press conference, Crabtree-Ireland noted that SAG members will remain active in the conversation around the responsible use of AI, including its emerging prominence as a political issue.
Following today’s SAG-AFTRA National Board meeting—the board gave the tentative agreement 86% approval, according to Crabtree-Ireland—it will go out to the union’s nearly 160,000 members, who will then vote on whether to ratify the contract. If it goes through, it will go into effect as an official agreement. In the case of the WGA strike, it took two days between reaching the deal and finalizing that deal.
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