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Actors board votes on proposals

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In a move that starts the ball rolling on negotiations for a new film and television contract for actors, the joint board of directors of the western section of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists voted Tuesday night on a full package of proposals.

Those proposals, which also will be voted on Friday by SAG and AFTRA's eastern section joint boards of directors, were drawn up after several months of working and wages conditions caucus meetings.

The proposals are understood to cover several issues, including residuals, salary compression, industry consolidation, diversity and digital technology and distribution. Residuals are a top priority, according to the unions, because they believe the current residual formulas are outdated and do not reflect today's "economic realities." Although there is a contract covering the Internet, the unions still want jurisdiction over this area.

After the 100-plus membership of the joint boards approves the proposals, they will be presented to the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers at the commencement of negotiations for a new film and television contract.

It remains unclear when SAG will begin bargaining for a new contract. No date has been set for those negotiations, and the guild's chief negotiator, Brian Walton, has said that SAG will wait until after the Writers Guild of America finishes its current round of negotiations with the AMPTP.

Negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP continue today.

The WGA talks are coming down to the wire this week as the current film and TV contract expires in only seven days. SAG's contract expires June 30.

The proposals being voted on by SAG and AFTRA at press time were formulated after the working and wages plenary of both unions met during the weekend at the Hotel Sofitel. During the meeting, the W&W plenary took all of the proposals from around the country -- New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- and boiled them down to the items that were voted on Tuesday night.

Any proposals not passing the vote will go back to the W&W plenary.

Tuesday's vote took place at SAG's Los Angeles headquarters.

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