Union Boards Approve Ad Contract

NEW YORK The joint boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists on Monday approved by a vote of 81-19 a new contract proposal negotiated with ad industry trade groups.

The boards recommended the contract’s ratification by approximately 140,000 union members. The current contract expires on Oct. 29. The new deal, if approved, will run through 2006.

“The solid gains for performers and their families in these new contracts [covering TV and radio commercials] are a testament to the focus, commitment and clear-eyed maturity of the working professionals who served on the negotiating team,” said AFTRA president John Connolly in a statement.

The deal was negotiated between the unions and the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

O. Burtch Drake, president and CEO of the 4A’s, said reaching an early accord removes “the dislocation and uncertainty of taking negotiations to the brink with the possibility of a labor dispute and work stoppage.” Such a stoppage took place in 2000 and lasted for six months.

The new deal includes a plethora of fee increases ranging from 5-7 percent for performers involved in TV and radio spots, as well as a 1 percent increase in pension and health plan contributions from employers.

This story updates an item posted on Sept. 25.