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What You Need to Know About the New SAG-AFTRA Agreement: Other Items (Part Two)


With the 118-day strike finally resolved and a new collective bargaining agreement up for a ratification vote, there is a lot to digest and understand about how things will be moving forward. With that in mind, Casting Networks is producing a series of articles in which we will break down particular parts of the new agreement and discuss how it affects you.

This entry focuses on other items not yet covered. It is the second of two pieces.

Holidays

Let’s start with the simple: as of January 1, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Juneteenth are added as contractual holidays. Additionally, the winter holiday hiatus may be up to two weeks and two days. The union will consider waivers to extend the winter holiday hiatus to up to three weeks.

Actor Flexibility

This is a big one. The new agreement allows for much greater flexibility for actors who want to appear in more than one TV series at a time. Actors can also work in unlimited TV shows as guest stars, with a six episode maximum.

The new agreement also raises the “money break” — that is, the payment threshold allowing actors to negotiate their contracts independently instead of following union rules — up to $65,000 from $15,000 per week or episode for half-hour shows and up to $70,000 from $20,000 for one-hour or long series.

The agreement covers more actors and forces AMPTP members to pay more for the stars they want to lock in exclusively.

Equity & Inclusion

Both the union and the AMPTP will recommend to the Trustees of the Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund (IACF) to award a grant to the Entertainment Community Fund. The grant will help any SAG-AFTRA-covered performer or background actor who does not qualify for benefits under the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan and who is working under the Codified Basic Agreement or the Television Agreement.

The grant’s purpose is for creating (or expanding) a travel benefit that would reimburse the cost of travel to states where gender-affirming healthcare services and/or reproductive healthcare services are available, from a jurisdiction where access to such care is limited or prohibited.

The current travel benefit related to reproductive healthcare will also be expanded to cover gender-affirming care.

Translation

A performer shall not be required to translate their own dialog (or that of any other performers) at any time, including in connection with auditions, interviews or tests. Producers can, however, negotiate separately with performers to provide such non-covered services.

Stunt Doubling

In the event a producer is unable to find a qualified stunt performer to double an actor bearing a sufficient likeness to whom they are doubling, the stunt coordinator shall consult with the union to identify additional sources for qualified stunt performers.

The producers’ obligation to engage in the consultation shall be subject to arbitration, not the ultimate hiring decision.

The language addressing diversity hiring practices for stunt doubles has been revised. It will obligate producers to hire stunt doubles who bear a “sufficient likeness” to the principal, as opposed to stunt doubles of the same race, gender and so on.

Hair and Makeup

A principal performer shall be given the opportunity to meaningfully consult regarding any hair and makeup needs so that production is prepared to work with the performer, including having appropriate hair and makeup products and equipment. If the producer is unable to provide qualified hair and/or makeup personnel to work with the performer, production shall reimburse the performer for the pre-approved cost of obtaining such services.

The actor will also be entitled to no less than two hours of compensation for the time spent in such services.

Both the union and the AMPTP agree to reach out to IATSE to discuss efforts to expand and maintain the pool of hair stylists and makeup artists who are qualified and available to work with people of all races and ethnicities.

They will also recommend to the trustees of the IACF to fund the training of hair stylists and make-up artists to acquire the skills necessary to work with all hair textures and skin tones.

On-Screen Credit

For performers unable to obtain information needed to correct or add credit on IMDb, producers agree to make reasonable efforts to assist them. Background actors may contact the applicable background casting agency for such assistance.

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