Canadian actors agree to new commercials pact

Tue Oct 7, 2008 7:56pm EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Canada's actors union on Tuesday reached a tentative deal with domestic advertisers after 17 months of bargaining, averting a threatened strike.

ACTRA, which represents about 21,000 domestic performers, said it agreed to terms on a new three-year National Commercial Agreement with the Institute of Communications Agencies and the Association of Canadian Advertisers.

ACTRA members will now be polled on the new 17-page agreement, which includes an average 2.5% pay increase in each of the three years of the new deal, an eight-hour workday, down from nine hours, and measures to keep large-budget Canadian commercial shoots from going offshore.

On the thorny issue of new-media residuals, payments for new-media distribution were capped, and ACTRA reduced the payment rate for original new-media product to encourage more production.

ACTRA national executive director Stephen Waddell said the new deal is more in line with the Screen Actors Guild's agreement on commercial work, reflecting an increasingly North American production market.

The deal will need to be ratified by ACTRA's national executive Thursday. The broader membership vote is expected by November 26, which could allow the new contract to come into force by December 1.

In mid-September, ACTRA began to poll its membership on a strike mandate to revive stalled negotiations with domestic advertisers. The last National Commercial Agreement expired June 30.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter