AFTRA strikes new deal with networks


The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has reached a tentative agreement with the Big Four television networks and producers on the Network Television Code, which is subject to AFTRA National Board approval and ratification from members.

The new agreement contains solid increases in wage rates for all categories, increased contributions for the AFTRA Health and Retirement plan, and addresses discrete issues affecting every category of performer. In addition, the agreement preserves significant principles which are a hallmark of AFTRA contracts–such as universal coverage of background performers and contract security for daytime serial contract players.

The AFTRA Network TV Code covers actors and all on-camera and off-camera talent on all forms of television programming: syndicated dramas, daytime serials, game shows, talk shows, variety and musical programs, news, sports, reality shows, and promotional announcements.

Formal negotiations between members of AFTRA’s 35-person Negotiating Committee and the networks and producers began February 19 in Los Angeles, and were concluded on the evening of Saturday, March 8, in New York.

Representatives of the following organizations attended one or more of the sessions: American Federation of Musicians, Actors’ Equity Association, WGA, East, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and AFTRA’s strategic partner, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Details of the new agreement will be submitted to the AFTRA National Board for approval at the end of the month, and if approved, to membership ratification.


Increases program fees each year of contract.

Increases "extra rehearsal" and overtime rates by 25%.

Beginning November 2008, establishes 1-day, 3-day and weekly rates (as
provided in AFTRA’s primetime contract) for principal performers in
non-primetime and syndicated dramatic programs (other than serials).
Retains universal coverage for background actors in all formats, including
dramatic programs and daytime serials.

Raises minimum call provisions for Singers and Stand-Ins.

Establishes new residuals structures for paid Internet downloads (electronic
sell-through) that increases the rate currently paid by employers, and
establishes residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on
the Internet.

Establishes union coverage and terms for entertainment programming and
promotional announcements made directly for new media.

Reduces the "reconciliation period" from 26 weeks to 2 weeks for freelance
daytime performers in recurring roles.

Raises exclusivity thresholds for performers under contract.

Establishes a day rate for Dancers on Awards programs.

Guarantees Health and Retirement coverage for Stunt Coordinators on serial

Establishes new limitations on crediting overscale against overtime.

Increases employer contribution rates to the AFTRA Health and Retirement