Nearly three-quarters of the Screen Actors Guild's national board Saturday rejected the "last, best and final offer" from the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.
The 73%-27% vote came after an all-day meeting Saturday. SAG received the offer Thursday after three days of negotiations. SAG has been operating under the old contract, which expired June 30.
The SAG national board lambasted AMPTP for slipping in a demand that would have pushed a new deal into March 2012. SAG wants any agreement to conclude on June 30, 2011, three years after its most recent pact concluded.
"The AMPTP's last-minute, surprise demand for a new term of agreement extending to 2012 is regressive and damaging and clearly signals the employers' unwillingness to agree to the deal they established with other entertainment unions," SAG said in a statement issued Saturday night. "What management presented as a compromise is, in fact, an attempt to separate Screen Actors Guild from other industry unions. By attempting to extend our contract expiration one year beyond the other entertainment unions, the AMPTP intends to de-leverage our bargaining position from this point forward."
AMPTP fired back thusly: "The producers' offer is strong and fair -- and has been judged to be strong and fair by all of Hollywood's other major guilds and unions. We have kept our offer on the table -- and even enhanced it -- despite the historically unprecedented economic crisis that has clobbered our nation and our industry," the statement read. "The producers have always sought a full three-year deal with SAG, just as we negotiated with all the other unions and guilds, and have offered SAG a way to achieve an earlier expiration date without contributing to further labor uncertainty. We simply cannot offer SAG a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry."
Where that leaves the parties is uncertain: no new meetings are scheduled. It would take 75% assent from voting SAG members to authorize a strike vote.
Meanwhile, SAG negotiators move into joint bargaining with AFTRA for a new commercials contract with the advertising industry Monday in New York. Those talks are scheduled to run for a week, before skipping a week and then resuming in March.