New York 2013:07

The Official E-Newsletter of the New York Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the New York Local
July 2013

AGENCY DEPARTMENT – NY LOCAL

The SAG-AFTRA New York agency department is now located at 260 Madison Avenue on the seventh floor. We have been successful in integrating the staffs of both legacy AFTRA and legacy SAG agency departments into one fully functioning staff. If you have questions about your contracts or the relationship between you and your agent, please call us at (212) 863-4205. You can always email us. An expert from our staff personally reviews all emails regularly.

Educational Seminars – General Service Agreements

Watch your inbox! The SAG-AFTRA Agency Department will be stepping up our scheduling of these very informative, educational seminars on general service agreements, or GSAs (i.e., the contracts that some agents have been using to represent our members instead of the standard legacy SAG agency contracts). These GSA contracts are signed outside of SAG-AFTRA’s protection, and it is imperative that members have a working knowledge of what these contracts say before signing them — your professional future and your income may depend on it. This educational seminar will be especially helpful to any member having trouble making sense of the complicated legal language contained in the GSAs that their agents have provided them.

Need a form or document from the agency department? Check the website!

The agency department has posted many documents on its website that work to assist members in understanding their relationships with their agents. There is a section called Information for Agents and Members located on the Agency department page that contains most forms or contracts that you may see when you visit a franchised talent agency, and sample letters that you may need during the time you are working with your agent or are updating and/or changing agents. Please be sure to go online and check them out. If there is a document that you think would be helpful but doesn’t appear online, please email us. We are happy to review all requests!

It’s Election Time!

We encourage all members of SAG-AFTRA to vote, especially in this, the very first election under our new union. It is your chance to make your voice heard. The upcoming elections will determine national and local presidents, national vice presidents, national and local board members and convention delegates for the new union. Some positions are designated for specific work categories. Ballots have been mailed out, so be sure to check your mailbox. Remember, it’s your union!

Audiobook Narrators Gather in New York

On May 30, more than 70 SAG-AFTRA audiobook narrators from around the country gathered for a meeting in the Eddie Cantor Boardroom at 260 Madison Ave. On the agenda were updates on the newest SAG-AFTRA audiobook contracts, a discussion of future organizing, an opportunity for members to discuss their experience in the workplace, and of course, time set aside for socializing and eating some genuine New York pizza.

Having come to town for the Audiobook Publishers Association Conference the day before and the prestigious Audie Awards ceremony later that evening, the narrators seized the opportunity to meet their colleagues and fellow union members face to face. As one member in attendance said, “When you work in a 4-foot-by-4-foot booth all day, it’s easy to feel a little isolated.”

Over the past few years, as audiobook consumption has exploded, so has union coverage of audiobook work, growing from just a handful of contracts to more than 25. The solidarity in the room was palpable, as was the enthusiasm for the increase in union coverage in the industry. Ranging from large companies like Audible and Blackstone to small mom-and-pop studios, these producers have signed onto contracts that allow members to receive fair wages and health and retirement contributions for their work. Many of the narrators who gathered on May 30 earn their living solely as audiobook narrators, a craft about which they are passionate. They are able to do so largely because of the union wages, protections and benefits afforded by SAG-AFTRA contracts.

MPAA Sets up ‘Where to Watch’ Website

With so many online portals to access content, how do you know which ones are legal and which ones are stealing the content we work on? The Motion Picture Association of America is making it easier to identify sites where you can watch content without breaking the law. Wheretowatch.org lists sites where you can watch your favorite television shows and movies with both free ad-supported options and fee-based commercial-free services.

Important Links

New 2013 New York Television series

New York Local Upcoming Events

New York Local Member Benefits

Production Show Sheet/Casting Notices

Actors Fund Upcoming Workshops