SAG, AFTRA to count ballots on new film and TV contract

Ballots are due Friday afternoon from members of Hollywood’s two major actors unions – SAG and AFTRA. They're voting on a new contract with film and prime-time TV producers.

The two unions avoided the drama that led to their current separate contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers. Those deals don’t expire until the summer, but this time, negotiators got to the bargaining table early.

The actors dug in on the bread-and-butter: the new contract includes a two percent wage increase every year for the next three years – and a ten percent increase in employer contributions to the unions’ pension and health plans.

The producers dug in on the gravy: they scaled back something working actors have come to appreciate: first class air travel. The new deal says the talent flies coach if the trip is less than a thousand miles.

Members of SAG and AFTRA have had a little more than month to think about it. Most industry observers expect a solid majority to ratify the new deal.

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