Atlanta 2014:04

The Official E-Newsletter of the SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Local
April 2014

AGENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT

By Mike Pniewski, Chair

Your SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Local Agent Relations Committee was reconstituted late last summer in order to improve our working relationships with local talent agents. Our first focus has been on member empowerment, so we held several teleconferences with National Director/Senior Counsel, Professional Representatives Zino Macaluso from the L.A. office regarding the general service agreements (GSA) being  offered by our local Association of Talent Agent agents. These have several issues for members, since they have never been mutually negotiated, so it’s important for members who work with ATA agents to learn how to amend the GSA to protect themselves and their careers.

In addition, we hosted Empowerment Days 2013 in partnership with the Muriel Moore/Danny Nelson SAG-AFTRA Conservatory, which brought Zino to Atlanta to meet with members face to face to discuss both the GSAs and review the current commission structure for work in our market. The event also included long-time SAG-AFTRA member Sheldon Smith, who did his very popular workshop on how to turn work union. This gave members lots of tools to help them create more work opportunities for themselves and their agents.

Your Agent Relations Committee is just getting started bringing you events and information to improve your career. Be on the lookout for some more exciting events happening soon.

MANAGER CODE READY

SAG-AFTRA has finalized its Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct, a voluntary agreement that is designed to promote honest and ethical relationships between the union’s members and the managers they choose to represent them.

As a sign of commitment to its burgeoning relationship with the personal management community, SAG-AFTRA’s Agency Relations Department is now known as the SAG-AFTRA Professional Representatives Department.

To learn more and view a copy of the Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct, click here.

A Message from the Local President 

Ric Reitz

Dear SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Brothers and Sisters,

In addition to our annual member meeting, your local board will be reaching out several times a year to inform you about the general direction, policies and progress of our market.

Since merger and last summer’s first SAG-AFTRA consolidated election, a positive energy has permeated Georgia, which has paralleled our march forward to once again be a leading hub for North American entertainment production.

With this explosion of local production, our member numbers have steadily grown to approximately 1,225, up from 1,000 at merger.

I’m proud to say that your Atlanta Local Board is working hard to seize the opportunities presented and further empower you in a number of important ways, including educational seminars, workshops, agent and contract advocacy, plus new signatory and work development. You’ll learn more about these aspects from the reports attached by several committee chairs.

In addition to our normal standing committees (Agent Relations, Atlanta HealthNet, Indie Outreach, Lend Me an Ear, The Muriel Moore/Danny Nelson SAG-AFTRA Conservatory, Organizing and Wages & Working Conditions), we are adding new stunt and voiceover committees this spring. Should you wish to volunteer for either committee, please contact Melissa or Alison in our office.

I am happy to report that I will be serving on the national SAG-AFTRA President’s Committee, Right-to-Work Committee and Fi-Core Committee on your behalf. And, while I am Debra Nelson’s backup to the SAG-AFTRA National Board, I can’t say enough about her outstanding work in this regard.

Fortunately, our Georgia entertainment tax incentives have reenergized the local commercial market, as we are seeing more and more union spots produced, and we are looking into a strategy to get more corporate/educational work for members. You will certainly be informed as we make progress.

For those who missed the announcement at our holiday party in December, there are exciting changes with the union's health plans, as the SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plan will accept AFTRA earnings toward qualification starting July 1. Read more here.

Before turning this email over to my board colleagues, I also wanted to mention how impressed and encouraged I have been by the participation and commitment of local members at committee meetings, especially the latest wages and working conditions meetings. We’ve put together a number of suggestions for our national negotiating team, and Mike Pniewski will be an important advocate for us when he joins that team at the bargaining table to discuss our important TV/Theatrical Contract with AMPTP later this spring.

I’m looking forward to seeing and working with you all in what should prove to be another exciting year for Georgia!

In solidarity,

Ric Reitz
President
SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Local