SAG-AFTRA Ratifies Stronger Sound Recording Deal
The members of performers union SAG-AFTRA have voted to approve the tentative deal struck with the major labels for sound recordings back in October. The new SAG-AFTRA Sound Recordings Code includes sound recordings on digital, CDs and vinyl.
It also includes all music formats, including audiobooks, cast albums, and any other sound recordings utilizing vocal performances.
The new agreement, retroactive effective January 1st, 2018, expires on December 31st, 2020. Major labels covered by the agreement include Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group Recordings, Capitol Records, and Hollywood Records (Disney).
Also included in the new contract are annual minimum wage increases and increased contributions to health and retirement plans. Minimum wage will increase 3% on January 1st, 2019, and increase again by 2.5% on December 31st, 2020. Health and retirement contributions will also rise 13% starting July 1st, 2019. The portion of global streaming payments subject to health and retirement contributions will rise to 50%, up from 15%.
As part of the deal, the performers union will also streamline the licensing and performer payment processes for foreign licenses, with the foreign traditional use conversion fee for most licenses having risen from 3% to 4%.
Commenting on the vote, Gabrielle Carteris, President of SAG-AFTRA, said:
“I want to thank the negotiating committee particularly its chair, National Vice President Recording Artists/Singers Dan Navarro, for their hard work and congratulate the membership for recognizing the value of this contract. The negotiating committee’s vision, coupled with the support of our membership, is what has allowed us to secure meaningful gains, not only for today’s members, but for future SAG-AFTRA artists as well.”
National Executive Director David White added: “This agreement further ensures increased minimums and higher contributions to the health and retirement plans, which will greatly benefit our recording artist members.”