I’m honored to have been asked to serve two more years as SAG’s Secretary-Treasurer. I say this notwithstanding the fact that I was running unopposed and therefore — let’s face it — the voters really didn’t have a choice. In all seriousness, I do appreciate the vote of confidence; it’s been a challenging couple of years, with more challenges ahead.
Since my start at SAG, the goal has been to “do more with less” in order to put the Guild on a sound financial track. We looked for and found economies everywhere: We held off on filling staff positions and redistributed work to maximize the output of each staff member. We migrated to the Internet, offering paperless billing and even making it possible for producers to become SAG signatories online, which not only reduced costs but is actually creating thousands of SAG jobs by attracting new production. We’re using teleconferences, videoconferences and webinars to save travel expenses, and we now hold large meetings in SAG’s own facilities instead of hotels. These efforts and more are saving millions of dues dollars each year.
There’s a limit, however, to how much SAG can “do more with less” and still do all it takes to protect its members. Employers started moving TV work from SAG to AFTRA three years ago, and that shift — along with other industry trends — is making it increasingly challenging for SAG to maintain the high level of service our members expect with our current financial structure. This will need to be addressed, and soon.