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SAG Negotiators Set to Meet

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Chatter about SAG's long-stalled film and TV contract negotiations has turned from the despairing to the hopeful.

Word spread over the weekend that SAG national executive director David White had found some common ground with studio executives during behind-the-scenes discussions during the past few weeks.

At immediate issue is an AMPTP demand that the new agreement expire in 2012, exactly three years after final ratification. SAG wants the contract start date made retroactive to July 1, 2008, so a new agreement would expire in sync with its sister guilds' at the end of June 2011.

Members of the guild's negotiations task force are expected to meet Tuesday, presumably to discuss whatever progress White has made on the issue. The previous film and TV contract expired June 30, and the guild's national board rejected the AMPTP's last, best, final offer on Feb. 21.

SAG and AFTRA recently reached a tentative agreement with the advertising industry on a new commercials contract--in just 25 bargaining days--despite the complexity of the debated issues. But the speed of that resolution likely owes to the structure of the bargaining parties.

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