Screen Actors Guild and Studios Start Negotiations

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) began feature-primetime negotiations on Tuesday morning at AMPTP headquarters with the official presentation of proposals. SAG and AMPTP issued a brief statement in the late afternoon, disclosing only that talks would resume this morning.

Variety says the start of the SAG talks comes on the heels of a bruising battle with sister union the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) over jurisdiction and strategy.

On Monday, AFTRA spurned a last-minute invite from SAG to rejoin it at the bargaining table under terms of the 1981 Phase One partnership, with AFTRA asserting it can no longer trust SAG leaders due to a dispute over possible decertification of “The Bold and the Beautiful.” So Tuesday’s session represented the first time in 27 years that SAG and AFTRA have not negotiated together on the contract.

AMPTP has, however, insisted SAG’s going to have to accept terms similar to those in the WGA and DGA deals signed earlier this year; SAG president Alan Rosenberg has been explicit that the guild must get a boost in DVD residuals and improvements in the new-media portions of the WGA and DGA deals.

The current SAG-AFTRA deal expires June 30. AFTRA, which covers a handful of primetime shows, will begin its negotiations on April 28 — which puts pressure on SAG to wrap up its talks by then or face the prospect of AFTRA signing a deal first and then using it to expand its coverage in areas of shared jurisdiction.


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