The point of contention is new media rights. ACTRA says it wants its members to be paid for new media like any other form of royalty, or else refer the issue to a joint committee for study. Producers argue that there is no revenue to justify the fees ACTRA is proposing. The negotiation is under close scrutiny by their respective counterparts in the US. The Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will face a similar conflict when their current contract expires in October 2008.
In a negotiation update emailed today to its membership, the CFTPA, which is bargaining along with its Quebecois peer the AFTPQ and US producers' representatives, said 'despite the Producers willingness to remain flexible and find a deal, the creative and viable solutions presented by the mediator were not acceptable to ACTRA.'
ACTRA's statement read in part: 'The producers appear to be hopelessly split among themselves. They were completely unprepared for these meetings, keeping us waiting for more than eight hours while they negotiated with each other. At the end of the day they basically re-submitted their old proposals and demanded we accept them. That's not an approach to bargaining that's going to get us to agreement.'
Federal mediator Elizabeth MacPherson has proposed resuming negotiation by telephone next week.