A few days ago, Screen Actors Guild National Board of directors approved tentative television and motion picture contracts and recommended ratification. But that is what launched the controversy.

Some actors and the SAG are pushing to vote Yes, but many actors, specially the “not so known ones” are pushing towards voting No.

The main argument is about Internet and New Media.

There´s a vote Yes Campaign, and a Vote No Campaign

For instance, Kate Walsh from Private Practice is pro Yes.

And Rob Schneider is pro No

But I wanted to see a little more…

That´s why I checked a little more both sides:

This is an E-Mail from ActorsRight.Com:

Thank You for taking the time to read this important message from
Actors Rights Coalition.
We hope you find it informative and will forward it to
other concerned actors.

Fellow members of the Screen Actors Guild.

Today or tomorrow you will be receiving your ballots for the SAG
TV/Theatrical Contract. This contract will have a profound impact
on our lives and our ability to make a living now and in the future.
It will impact our Pension and Health benefits, our residuals and
the protection of our creative work.

Look at the issues closely. Don’t be mislead by the empty rhetoric
of the Guild propaganda machine. Your dues money has paid for a
crisis management PR firm, The Saylor Company, to sell this
disaster of a contract to our membership. If the contract were good,
would there be a need for a crisis management PR firm? Or a *vote
yes* campaign????

32 pages of restrictions, exclusions and qualifications in New Media
include: NON-union work. NO residuals for pre-’71 movies and pre-’74
television. NO union minimums. Product Integration. Any ONE of
these issues is a reason to vote NO and there is more…much more.

Don’t let a bunch of slick salesmen steal your vote. VOTE NO!

In Solidarity

Scott Wilson

And this is a SAG Mail on the subject

Don’t be Tricked into Voting Against the
TV/Theatrical Contract

Some members are trying to take our union down and continue to circulate misinformation about our tentative agreement. Don’t be fooled into voting down a good deal, with real gains for actors.

The opponents would like you to believe they have a “plan” if this agreement is voted down. They’ve never actually said what that plan is, and for the last year, their plan failed miserably. You lost jobs, wages and maybe even your health coverage.

· After a year of negotiations and 11 months of working without a contract, we finally have a good deal.

· After losing wage increases of $85 million over the last year, actors and their families need this deal now.

· We need the pay raises, added residuals, better benefits, and protections for the future offered by this contract.

WE have a plan – to approve this contract, get our raises, rebuild our union, and restore union pride. Just ask yourself if it’s smart to say no to a deal with real, solid financial gains for SAG actors. After a year working without a contract… is that really smart? A YES vote is the smart vote.

So, when you see negative attacks launched by the opponents of this deal, ask them: What’s the alternative? They won’t give an answer, because they don’t have one. Click www.sag.org/sag-tv to see what working SAG actors think on SAG TV: “What’s the Alternative?”

Vote YES today and mail your ballot.

Further more… it was time to check out what was the actual agreement about.

Two-year successor agreements to the 2005 Producer-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement and 2005 Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement.

The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today 53.38 percent to 46.62 percent to approve and recommend to members, new, two-year successor agreements to the 2005 Producer-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement and 2005 Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement.
The proposed agreement, covering actors in motion pictures and television delivers 3.5% effective annual increases comprised of a 3% wage increase and a .5% pension and health contribution increase upon ratification, and a 3.5% wage increase in year two.
The board passed the below motion shortly after 4:00 p.m. today:
It was moved and seconded that the National Board directs the Interim National Executive Director to send the tentative agreement between the Producers represented by the AMPTP and the Screen Actors Guild for successor agreements to the 2005 Producer–Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement and the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement to the membership for ratification, with a recommendation from the Board to vote ‘Yes.’
Approved: 53.38% –46.62%
“I urge members to carefully review both the pros and cons in the referendum materials, and exercise their right to vote,” said Screen Actors Guild National President Alan Rosenberg.
Interim National Executive Director David White said: “We are pleased that Screen Actors Guild members will soon be voting on a deal for television and motion pictures. We’re eager to get our members back to work and to focus now on the challenges ahead, particularly on initiating a comprehensive effort to thoughtfully plan for the future.
Our negotiating committee, task force and professional staff have worked countless hours on this agreement over the last year. On behalf of the National Board, I thank them for their time, commitment and expertise.”
Chief Negotiator John McGuire stated: “This tentative agreement delivers increased contributions to the SAG pension plan, increased minimums, a significant gain in background actor numbers from 50 to 55 over the term of the contract, and it tracks the new media provisions achieved by other entertainment industry unions. The term of the agreement puts SAG in sync with the other unions, and does not include the extended term recently proposed by the AMPTP.”
Provisions of the proposed deal include:
• A two-year term of agreement concluding June 30, 2011.
• Effective annual increases comprised of 3.0% in wage increases and .5% in pension contributions upon ratification, and a 3.5% wage increase one year following ratification.
• A new media structure that tracks those achieved by other industry unions, resulting in gains for actors including:
o Jurisdiction on all derivative, made-for new media productions; automatic jurisdiction on all high-budget, original, made-for new media productions; plus jurisdiction on low budget original, new media productions that employee at least 1 covered performer.
o Residuals for exhibition of TV and Theatrical motion pictures on consumer pay platforms (Electronic Sell Through) at a greater percentage than those paid for DVD distribution.
o Residuals for ad-supported streaming of feature films and television programs.
o Residuals for derivative new media programs.
• Additional 5 covered background actors in feature films. From 50 to 53 covered background positions upon ratification of the contract, and from 53 to 55 covered background positions in year 2. Adds 1 covered background position in TV, from 19 to 20, upon ratification.
• Increased compensation for guest star premium from 7.5% to 10%.
• Increased trailer money break from $2,500 to $3,000, or more per week.
• Increased overtime money break for three-day performers from $2,700 to $3,000.
Ratification ballots will be mailed to eligible SAG members in early May, with an expected return date at the end of the month. Tabulation will occur immediately upon the conclusion of balloting.
Bargaining for a successor agreement to the 2005 SAG TV/Theatrical Contract began on April 15, 2008.
About SAG
About SAG: Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 actors who work in motion pictures, television, industrials, commercials, video games, music videos and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at www.sag.org

But, what I wanted the most was to interview a real actual hardworking actor, low profile, to see how it really afects them

Therefore, I asked Lance from DailyActor to let me ask him some questions via Twitter and then we engaged in a brief twitterview about SAG Contract.

Q: Why the controversy?

A: It´s a lot of reasons but basically it comes down to New Media – the networks steaming shows on the internet.

Q: What is each side about?

A: Vote No wants a better wage/residual for these streaming shows.
If we don´t do it now, we’ll never get it.
The Vote yes has tons more money in backing of SAG. Vote No more grassroots campaigning. I have no idea how the vote will go.

Q: Who are the main backers on each side?

A: (Vote Yes) SAG has all the money from our union dues so they are the dominant one here.
I´m not sure about the Vote no people.

Q: Is there a possible actors strike as writers did?

A: A strike is possible but right now doubtful. All depends on vote

Q: It affects more little known actors or big names?

A: It definitely affects smaller actors. People you don´t know.

Q: How can it affect the shows?

A: It’ll only affect the shows if we go on strike.
It´s more affecting films right now.
Just real big films. Because studios are afraid something might happen, ie strike. But, I also think its because of economy… it´s a way for studios to make us worry.

Q: And finally… what can we (media journalists, bloggers, fans) do to help?

A: Just get the word out. It’ll totally destroy the working middle class actor if the deal is voted for. 🙂

So, you know now… help spread the word… Vote No!