SAG-AFTRA ratifies 2022 Commercials contracts

Commericals
(Courtesy SAG-AFTRA)

Ad agency creatives and producers, as well as production companies, can rest easy. Members of SAG-AFTRA today overwhelmingly voted to ratify the 2022 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract and the 2022 SAG-AFTRA Audio Commercials Contract.

The vote was 92.25% in favor. The agreement reflects important structural changes in the industry, especially in digital streaming commercials.

  • The key provisions of the ratified contract include:
  • $120 million in gains for members.
  • A 10% increase in session fees starting this year. 
  • Flat-fee, per-cycle rates across most digital and traditional media.
  • Critical hair and makeup equity protections for diverse members. 
  • Lasting cultural change through new standards for nude or partially nude work. 
  • No more unreasonable or unsafe self-tape and live-remote auditions, thanks to clear boundaries on what can be asked. 
  • Fortifying the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan with increased contributions.
  • New compensation for digital use, paired with an employer-paid fund to mitigate the impact of reduced earnings on the most high-volume Class A use.

“We did it! An overwhelming majority of members agreed on the new Commercials Contracts,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. “As we move into a digital age, bold moves and structural changes had to be made.”

Drescher adds, “Our amazing negotiating committee heard what members needed and delivered new contracts with more money for streaming, more contributions to the health plan, limitations on self-tape auditions, hair and makeup equity, intimacy protections and more. These contracts create a baseline upon which to build a new future.”

SAG-AFTRA National Commercials Negotiating Committee Chair Gabrielle Carteris noted, “Throughout the nearly eight-week process, our negotiating committee never wavered and remained laser-focused on modernizing and transforming our Commercials Contracts. Our success in the negotiations is directly tied to the incredible support, advice and work of National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and Chief Contracts Officer and Lead Negotiator Ray Rodriguez, whose influence and wise counsel is found in every provision in the contracts.” 

“This bold new agreement reflects SAG-AFTRA’s multi-year approach to address the major shifts in the advertising industry and the growth of digital and streaming platforms,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “We are changing with the times and adapting our agreements to ensure our members can benefit from the long-term evolution in the industry. This agreement will ensure union members continue to work and continue to receive the earnings they deserve. The agreement will also support expanding the coverage of work performed under a SAG-AFTRA contract. The fantastic commitment and energy of the negotiating committee exemplify how SAG-AFTRA and its members can overcome any future challenges by tackling our mission with a well-thought-out strategy, with foresight, passion, perseverance and most of all, unity.” 


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Initial rate increases are retroactive to April 1, 2022, and a second set of rate increases apply beginning June 1, 2022. The new payment and editing structure also become effective June 1, 2022.

The ratification vote follows the SAG-AFTRA National Board’s recommendation on April 9 that members vote yes on the new three-year contract with the Joint Policy Committee, LLC. Votes were submitted online and by mail-in ballot, with the deadline of today, May 5, 2022, at 5 p.m. PDT.

The final vote was certified by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington. Negotiations on the agreement began on Feb. 15 and concluded with a tentative agreement on April 5. Voting instruction postcards were mailed to approximately 133,000 members.


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