Hawaii 2008:12

Hawaii 2008:12

December 10, 2008

HAWAII BRANCH PRESIDENT’S REPORT

By Glenn Cannon

As most of you know, the producers and SAG still have not resolved the TV/Theatrical Contract; the mediator effort did not prove successful. Shortly you should be receiving a ballot as to whether or not you approve of a strike authorization. If 75 percent of those voting approve, that means that the SAG National Board, in its wisdom, will then decide what happens next. Obviously, the hope is that the very threat of a strike will move the producers to reopen negotiations with suitable changes in their offerings that SAG can accept, and thus avoid any work stoppage. This is a difficult time for everyone in the business, and we can only trust that cooler and wiser heads will prevail. Time will tell.

NATIONAL BOARD MEMBER REPORT

By Jim Hutchison

Meetings and emotions surrounding our negotiations with the AMPTP seem to be moving rapidly and at the speed of a rock. It is up to each of us to keep up with the latest news from both camps and be informed. Expect mail concerning the strike authorization soon and consider carefully your vote. The Guild needs you to vote for the future.

SAG STATEMENT ABOUT MEDIATION AND AUTHORIZATION

Screen Actors Guild issued the following statement on November 22:

Our leadership was optimistic that federal mediation would help to move our negotiations forward, but despite the Guild’s extraordinary efforts to reach agreement, the mediation was adjourned shortly before 1 a.m. today.

Management continues to insist on terms we cannot responsibly accept on behalf of our members. As previously authorized by the National Board of Directors, we will now launch a full-scale education campaign in support of a strike authorization referendum. We will further inform our members about the core, critical issues unique to actors that remain in dispute.

We have already made difficult decisions and sacrifices in an attempt to reach agreement. Now it’s time for SAG members to stand united and empower the national negotiating committee to bargain with the strength of a possible work stoppage behind them.

We remain committed to avoiding a strike but now more than ever we cannot allow our employers to experiment with our careers. The WGA has already learned that the new media terms they agreed to with the AMPTP are not being honored. We cannot allow our employers to undermine the futures of our members and their families.


BRANCH ELECTION RESULTS

Rebecca “Becky” Maltby ran unopposed for a three-year council position on the board. Her term will expire in 2011. Congratulations, Becky!

CLAIMS REPORT

This year your Branch office collected monies on claims for late pay, meal penalties, looping, sessions, day players, mileage and wardrobe. Be reminded there are time limits when filing claims. For background actors it’s 30 days. For principals it’s six months. If you are unsure about a claim, don’t wait, contact the Branch office at (808) 596-0388 or e-mail bching@sag.org.

CONSERVATORY REPORT

Terri Ann Becherer, director of the SAG Background Actors Department, was invited by our Branch to do a Background Actors 101 workshop for the Hawaii Branch SAG Conservatory. She gave a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation about background actors’ rights under the contract, followed by a Q&A.

Frank South, writer, director and actor, did an acting workshop for the conservatory on September 20.  

The “Acting for Reel” workshop was held on November 18.

Note: The conservatory workshops are provided solely for SAG members.

PRODUCTION REPORT

Lost (Television series)

Rachel Sutton is casting principals. Julie Carlson is casting background actors.
Contact Phone: (808) 733-4015
E-mail: lostcasting@gmail.com for principals,
lostcastinghawaii@gmail.com for background actors

REGISTER FOR ONLINE CASTING

Members, don’t miss out. Register on iActor today. It’s free, and it’s for you. More and more casting directors and producers are using iActor for their productions across the country. Go to SAG.org to register. If you need assistance, contact iActor at (323) 549-6451 or info@iactor.org.

ORIENTATION MEETING DATES

If you are a new member, a rejoin or have transferred here from another branch, you want to attend an orientation meeting. (Please bring your SAG membership packet to the meeting.)

Orientation Dates
2 p.m., Tuesday, January 27, at the SAG Hawaii Branch Office.
2 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, at the SAG Hawaii Branch Office.

Call the Branch office at (808) 596-0388 or e-mail bching@sag.org to RSVP.

IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION

Pension & Health
(800) 777-4013
SAGph.org

General Information
(800) 724-0767

SAG website
SAG.org

SAG/AFTRA Federal Credit Union
(800) 826-6946
aftrasagfcu.org

SAG Foundation
(323) 549-6649
SAGFoundation.org

Hawaii Branch Office
(808) 596-0388
bching@sag.org

E-mail addresses: If you are not listed with SAG, you are not getting the latest news on productions and what’s going on with the Hawaii Branch. If you have changed your e-mail address, please send us your new one.

COMMERCIALS CONTRACT EXTENDED

On August 27, Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the advertising industry’s ANA/AAAA Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations (JPC) jointly announced an agreement to extend, through March 31, 2009, the terms of their Commercials contracts.

The extension adds six months to the previous two-year extension the parties agreed to, which covered the period from 2006 to 2008. That extension was set to expire on October 29, 2008.

RULE 1 FOR A STRONG UNION

Rule 1 is one of the cornerstones of SAG’s strength and solidarity.

Rule 1 reads:
No member shall perform any services as a performer nor make an agreement to perform services as a performer for any producer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the Guild which is in full force and effect. This rule applies worldwide.

What does Rule 1 mean to me, the performer? Rule 1 sends a message to the industry that members are united and will not work for less than industry standards with a union contract. Rule 1 provides protections for all professional performers.

When members violate Rule 1, it sends a message to producers that our members are willing to work for less than industry standards. Industry standards were established in 1933 when a group of working actors started the Screen Actors Guild. They stood up to the studios to fight for better wages and working conditions. Over the years, your union has been able to negotiate wages and working conditions for professional performers. When we benefit, so does everyone in the industry, not just SAG members. 

More importantly, our strength is when members stand behind Rule 1. It empowers the Guild to organize more work in motion pictures, television programs, commercials, industrial/educational programs, video games, music videos, Internet work or any other new media format that exists now or in the future.

Today we have contracts that set standards before, during and after the session takes place. The contracts spell out how auditions are to be conducted, how the work day should progress and what payments are made for sessions and for the re-use of the product. Rule 1 leads us into negotiating agreements with the industry that provide actors with working conditions too often taken for granted, such as overtime, meal periods and built-in rest periods. Because of Rule 1, we can bargain on behalf of our protected groups (women, seniors, people of color and performers with disabilities) who most often are discriminated against in hiring. We can set special working conditions for young performers, and we can establish safety standards for everyone on the set.

In short, Rule 1 gets us to the table. Rule 1 allows the union to face employers and speak to them from a position of strength for a fair return on the dollars producers make from our members’ performances. It tells producers that without a contract that protects performers, they won’t work without one.

Rule 1 has provided us with the best collective bargaining agreements for professional performers in the world, contracts that mean quality of performance and professional integrity. Rule 1 identifies who we are, and in this year of negotiations, as we celebrate our 75th anniversary year, let’s not forget what we have.

Our strength lies in unity and in YOU! Respect Rule 1 because it protects you, the actor.

OPO—A LITTLE-KNOWN KEY TO JOBS

Have you ever been told by a producer that he would love to hire YOU but that it's just too expensive? You might have pointed him to SAGIndie.org for a look at the special contracts we have for low-budget films. However, what if she is not producing films but local commercials or industrials?

The SAG Hawaii Branch provides a contract for commercials that are produced in and played in the state. It is called the Hawaii Basic Minimum Commercials Contract, and it was designed with terms and conditions specifically to provide an incentive to local producers to hire union members. 

But there's more. This contract and the Industrial Educational Contract are available on a one-production-only basis. Let's say a producer wants to hire SAG members, but his budgets don't always allow a full commitment for the full term of our agreements. In most instances, we can help him by way of the One Production Only Agreement, or OPO. This arrangement permits our members to experience full union protection for a job, including SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plan credits, while allowing producers who wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford it a chance to hire our people.

The OPO is limited to programs produced under the Industrial & Educational Contract and to commercials produced under the Hawaii Basic Minimum Commercials Contract. It might be a key to opening a door for work that you might be missing out on. Use it when you can. Call the office and when producers say SAG is too expensive, point them in our direction—SAG Hawaii at (808) 596-0388, (800) 724-0767, ext. 7, or e-mail at bching@sag.org.

SAG TALK

Have you checked out SAG Talk yet? It's the new blog that takes on some of the timely issues facing Screen Actors Guild and its members. Its goal is simple: to set the record straight. One of the recent blogs was titled, not surprisingly, “Fact Checking the Blogs.”

SAG Talk is just one of the new beneficial features of the constantly improving SAG.org.

DUES REMINDER

If you haven’t done so already, please pay your dues today. If you are not an active, paid-up member in good standing, you may not be able to vote in Guild elections or contract referenda or be eligible to serve on the council or committees. You also must be paid to date to register on iActor, the Guild’s online casting program, which is now being used by casting directors nationwide. If you have any questions regarding your dues, please contact the Cashiers Department at (800) SAG-0767, prompt 2, or (212) 944-6243.

SUPPORT THE SAG FOUNDATION

What is the Screen Actors Guild Foundation? The foundation is the charitable arm of SAG, dedicated to serving members and the larger community.

The SAG Foundation provides numerous services to members and is separate from the Guild. It has its own Board of Directors and executive director. The foundation’s programs are funded through private donations, corporate gifts and bequests—not membership dues. The Hawaii Branch board would like to solicit your support of the SAG Foundation by contributing whatever you can afford when you pay your SAG dues bill. No donation is too small.

Nearly every donor dollar in the Foundation’s budget is spent directly on programs benefiting members and the community. Among the foundation programs are Conversations, BookPALS, LifeRaft, Catastrophic Health Fund, Internships for Special Students, Legacy Documentation, Membership Assistance and the John L. Dales Scholarship Fund. For more information on the foundation, go to SAGFoundation.org or call (323) 549-6708. Mahalo!

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HOLIDAY PARADE

On Monday, January 19, the Hawaii Branch is marching along with other union members and their families in the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade. Details will be announced. If you are interested in marching, contact the office at (808) 596-0388 or e-mail bching@sag.org. Last year, we had a good turnout. Hope you can join us!

A reminder—the office is closed from December 24 through January 2, and will re-open on Monday, January 5.

UNCLAIMED RESIDUALS: GET YOUR MONEY!

Screen Actors Guild is facing a dilemma: getting performers or their heirs to collect their unclaimed residuals. A surplus of unclaimed residuals sits unable to be sent out. Although the Guild knows to whom these funds belong, it can’t send the checks to these performers, in most cases because the Guild doesn’t have the correct mailing information for the residuals recipients. Some residuals checks belong to nonmembers or one-time actors, many of whom aren’t even aware that they have residuals coming to them. In an effort to reduce this surplus, the Finance Committee is embarking on a marketing campaign to get the word out to possible residuals recipients. The campaign, called “Get Your Money,” will reach out to SAG members and non-SAG members through internal publications and online campaigns. If you would like to see whether you have residuals owed to you, visit www.SAG.org/GetYourMoney. Enter your name and “Get Your Money!” Have questions or want to speak with a residuals representative? E-mail residualtrust@sag.org, or call (800) 205-7716 or (323) 549-6535.

SAG HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPING — thesagshop.com

Visit thesagshop.com for the latest in must-have, union-made merchandise. Buy gifts and accessories that demonstrate your good taste and your union pride.

HAPPY HOLIDAY WISHES

Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Sincerely,

Your Hawaii Branch Board of Directors
and Branch Executive Director Brenda Ching


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