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Actors unions' board approves new film and TV contract

December 4, 2010 |  1:27 pm

A board representing Hollywood's two main actors unions on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a recently negotiated film and TV contract that will provide members with modest pay raises and an increase in employer contributions to their health and pension plans.

As expected, the joint board of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists voted 89%-to-11% to approve the contract. SAG has 125,000 members and shares about 40,000 members with its smaller sister union, which also represents broadcasters and performers.

The tentative three-year contract must still be approved by a majority of members in both unions before it takes effect July 1.

The unions secured an agreement with the studios last month -- nine months before the expiration of the current contract.  Key provisions include 2% annual pay raises, in line with what other unions have negotiated, as well as a 10% increase in the current rate of employer contributions to the unions' health and pension plans.

The two unions, however, did not achieve other goals, such as persuading studios to provide better pay and work conditions for actors who perform on a motion-capture stage. In order to win increases in pay and benefits, negotiators also agreed to some cutbacks, including new restrictions on first-class airline travel.

Meanwhile, the Directors Guild of America continued negotiations with the studios on Saturday. The DGA has been in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for nearly three weeks.

-- Richard Verrier