October 9, 2008
Dear Screen Actors Guild Member,
On Wednesday, October 1, the SAG National TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee passed an advisory motion to the national board of directors that will be discussed at the board's upcoming plenary meeting in Los Angeles on October18 and19.
The advisory motion recommends that the national board should send a strike authorization referendum to SAG members, support the passage of the strike authorization, and run a member education campaign in support of the measure. Although the national negotiating committee is empowered to authorize such a referendum, the committee felt that the national board should be the body to debate and decide this important issue at this time.
It is important to note that if passed by a majority of the national board, the resolution does not call a strike. It only provides for a membership referendum to be conducted, which will take approximately 30 to 45 days.
If 75% of the qualified SAG members who vote in the referendum support the strike authorization, only then can the national board of directors call an actual work stoppage, should the board decide that it has become necessary to do so.
Any work stoppage called affecting the TV/Theatrical contracts will only impact work under those contracts, such as feature films, free television, and pay cable television, and will not affect other Guild contracts. Under such circumstances, Screen Actors Guild members would continue to work on all other contracts including the commercials contract, TV animation, basic cable television and basic cable animation contracts, industrial contract and interactive/video game contract.
All work under these contracts would continue uninterrupted. In addition, work on the more than 750 features by independent producers under SAG Guaranteed Completion Contracts would continue, as these producers are not represented by the AMPTP.
Please read the National TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee's motion below and email Contract2008@sag.org if you have any questions.
National Executive Director
National TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee Resolution, Oct. 1, 2008
"Whereas, Screen Actors Guild has been and remains willing and able to continue formal and continuous negotiations with the AMPTP and the employers, with the intention of reaching a mutually-acceptable deal; and
Whereas, the National Board has unanimously identified the core principles of new media jurisdiction and new media residuals as essential elements of any agreement in the Television/Theatrical contract negotiations; and
Whereas, preservation of longstanding force majeure protections for actors is of self-evident importance; and
Whereas, the President and Chief Negotiator have communicated this view to the AMPTP and the employers, and have requested that they return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair deal; and
Whereas, the AMPTP and the employers have refused to change their position and have continued to refuse to meet to attempt to advance the negotiations; and
Whereas, in the opinion of the National Negotiating Committee, the AMPTP and the employers will only seriously engage in further negotiations after the members of the Guild express their confidence in their leadership by authorizing them to take all actions necessary to protect the interests of the membership, including a strike; and
Whereas, although the National Board has already unanimously delegated the authority to take a strike authorization vote to the National Negotiating Committee, in the opinion of the Committee, the strong and public support of the National Board for the necessity of a strike authorization at this time is a necessary prerequisite for its success;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Negotiating Committee that:
A strike authorization vote of the membership is necessary to overcome the employers' intransigence, and the Committee therefore recommends that the National Board authorize such a vote be taken; and further recommends:
That the National Board adopt a resolution strongly supporting such an action, and recommending that the membership vote in favor of a strike authorization; and
That the National Board endorse an educational campaign advocating a "yes" membership vote, to give the authority to the National Board to call a strike only if the National Board deems it necessary and unavoidable to do so. "
Adopted: October 1, 2008
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