SAG-AFTRA is urging its members to ratify the terms of a new Sound Recordings Code reached last month with the major record labels. The new three-year contract, which was approved unanimously by the unions national board of directors, covers singers, announcers, actors, comedians and narrators employed in the recording industry. Only those members who have had earnings under the pact since 2012 are eligible to vote, and ballots must be returned no later than December 4.
The new contract provides for 3% pay raises in each of the first two years of the deal and a 2.5% pay hike in the third year. Employer contributions to the unions pension and health plans will increase to 13% from the current 12.75% of all earnings effective July 1, 2019. The portion of streaming payments subject to health and retirement contributions will also increase from 15% to 50%.
According to the union, the new pact will also “substantially increase the maximum health and retirement contribution for groups of six or more, and index it to future increases in eligibility requirements,” and “streamline the licensing and performer payment processes for foreign licenses, especially for tracks licensed into commercials.” It will also increase the foreign traditional use conversion fee for most licenses from 3% to % “with substantially increased minimum and maximum payments.”
SAG-AFTRA, however, noted that “none of those gains go into effect if members dont ratify the agreement.”