May 24, 2024

SAG-AFTRA has released the full 128-page contract that ended the actors strike on Nov. 8, with union leaders urging members to vote yes on the deal by the Dec. 5 ratification deadline.

The hard-fought tentative agreement was sealed after a 118-day strike, which marked the union’s the longest-ever widespread work stoppage and its first since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. The deal ultimately wrangled by SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief negotiator, has been widely praised as groundbreaking. But the terms around generative artificial intelligence have generated some debate, with some prominent members vowing to vote down the contract because the long-term AI protections don’t go far enough to protect jobs, in their view.

Still, after the sacrifice of a long strike that dovetailed in part with the 148-day Writers Guild of America walkout, the potential for a majority of SAG-AFTRA members to reject the contract seems slim. Drescher has repeatedly pointed to the significant financial and workplace gains achieved after long hours at the negotiating table with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

“These contracts achieve more than $1 billion in NEW compensation and benefit plan funding (including an additional $317.2 million to the benefit plans). The contracts establish lengthy and detailed AI guardrails that didn’t exist before and do protect you as we meet the challenge of this new technology, hair and makeup equity, significantly increased background coverage, outsized streaming residuals, a new streaming success fund, and so much more. These gains are only possible because of your sacrifice, solidarity and tenacity over the 118 days of the strike and are assured if you vote to ratify the agreement,” Crabtree-Ireland wrote in his cover letter to the mailing.

If approved, the 2023 Memorandum of Agreement will run from Nov. 9, 2023 through June 30, 2026.

The deadline for members to cast a vote via postcard or online is 5 p.m. PT on Dec. 5.

Click here to read the full contract.

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