The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors has voted — by a margin of 73 percent to 27 percent — to reject the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' last, best and final offer, presented this past Thursday.
"We entered this round of negotiations sending an unmistakably clear message that we were ready to make a deal," SAG says in a statement. To that end, SAG's negotiator "agreed to modify the guild's bargaining position to bring the guild in line with the deals made by our sister unions."
However, SAG claims the AMPTP muddied matters by making any new three-year deal not retroactive to June 30, 2008 (when SAG's most recent contract expired), but instead effective upon ratification and thus lasting into 2012 — putting SAG on a different renewal timetable than its sister unions.
"The AMPTP's last-minute, surprise demand for a new term of agreement extending to 2012 is regressive and damaging," says SAG. "[This] was not part of their final offer of June 30, 2008; it was not part of the federally mediated talks of November 2008, and should not have been inserted into the discussions when we returned to negotiations on February 17, 2009."
SAG argues that being on a different timetable from other unions would "deleverage our bargaining position from this point forward."
Calling its last, best and final offer "strong and fair," the AMPTP maintains that it has "always sought a full three-year deal with SAG, just as we negotiated with all the other unions and guilds."
It is unclear what SAG's next move will be. Though the union could move for a strike vote, it is not certain that they could achieve the 75 percent assent needed to affect a walkout.