SAG, Business Reps Reach Deal

SAG has avoided potential labor unrest within its own ranks.

Unionized SAG employees voted Wednesday night to accept a contract with the guild offering 2 percent annual wage increases over the next three years. The employees, SAG business representatives, turned down the same offer a week ago. Had they rejected the deal again, the employees would have initiated a strike against the guild.

The employees, represented by Teamsters Local 986, had wanted higher increases.

“The [employees] made a decision that reflected their best interests,” said Local 986’s Stephen Burke, adding that the offer “was not what we wanted or fought for.”

Notably, though, the package omitted a controversial proposal requiring employees to submit discrimination claims to binding arbitration. The removal of that proposal was a “big deal,” said Burke.

In a statement, SAG said, “We’re pleased to have concluded these negotiations. We value the many contributions of our staff and are proud to have a productive working relationship with our employees.”

The ratification eliminates the awkward possibility that SAG employees would have picketed their own employer’s negotiations with the AMPTP, which start Sept. 27.

SAG’s internal business is not yet complete: The guild negotiates this month with unionized employees in its New York office and next month with another group back in Los Angeles.