Los Angeles (January 16, 2007)-Ballots and referendum information regarding the proposed new dues structure and important changes to the Screen Actors Guild Constitution and By-Laws were mailed today to all eligible voting members of the Guild. Returned ballots must be received by U.S. mail at the assigned P.O. Box in Everett, Washington no later than 5 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, February 15, 2007. A simple majority of those who vote in favor is required for the referendum to pass.
On October 22, 2006, the national board of the Guild voted by a 98-percent margin to seek member approval of a dues increase that would strengthen the union's overall fiscal health, enhance member services, bolster such initiatives as organizing and a new tech department, and finance research and contract campaigns heading into the critical TV/theatrical, commercials, cable and industrial contract negotiations of 2008.
If passed, base dues for SAG membership would increase just $16 per year for members earning less than $500,000 per year, and $16 plus an increase in work dues for those who earn over $500,000 per year. The new dues plan also raises the current earnings cap for dues to $1 million. The Guild's initiation fee would rise from $1,474 to $2,211 upon ratification on February 16, 2007.
A dues increase would represent the first hike since 1999-and only the second increase in 19 years. The new dues structure would go into effect starting with the May 2007 dues period.
The constitutional amendments were proposed by the National Guild Government Review Committee, approved unanimously by the National Board of Directors at its meeting on November 2, 2006, and were submitted to the members for consideration as part of the referendum mailing that went out today.
The ballots will be tabulated by Integrity Voting Systems, and the results are expected to be announced on February 15.