Commercial actors approve new contract

LOS ANGELES, Calif. Members of the /*Screen Actors Guild*/ and the /*American Federation of Television and Radio Artists*/ overwhelmingly approved new three-year contracts Friday by a vote of nearly 94 percent.

Only about 37,000, or 28 percent, of the 132,000 ballots sent out to members were returned.

Commercial actors will also be getting a raise as part of a deal with the Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies. The contract states that actors in television, radio, internet and new media commercials will receive more than a $36 million increase in wage rates and other payments, as well as approximately $21 million in increased contributions to retirement and health plans.

The contracts go into effect retroactively to April 1.

Ballots are due back on June 9 for SAG's contract with major studios and producers.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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