LOCAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT
It is fantastic to see an uptick in signatory work this year in Nevada. We have already had five regular theatrical films this year, with the possibility of a couple more being planned (see production report). The Mentalist shot for a couple of days for that show’s finale, and several car companies still enjoy the desert around Las Vegas as background for their commercials. Under the auspices of our new union, several members had the opportunity to work various awards shows and TV specials that are legacy AFTRA signatories. I am fervently hoping that this trend will continue.
Our Local, along with our brothers and sisters in IATSE, Teamsters and AFL-CIO are already gearing up for the next opportunity to legislate for tax incentives (perhaps it would be better to properly call it a jobs bill). The next legislative session begins in January 2013, and several groups are already engaged in efforts to get language before committee. Keep in mind that not all of the various groups fighting for incentives or credits have the same agenda. For example, your union leadership is concerned with bringing jobs to Nevada, while a casino lobbying consortium might prefer everyone come from out of state to work on a project to fill hotel rooms. Stay in contact with your union to know the difference. Nevada Local Legislative Chairs Mary Ann Hebinck and Scott Mirne are already collecting names of interested individuals for a citizens’ educational/lobbying distribution list to keep folks aware of what is going on and to suggest when to write or contact your state legislators.
Your Local President Barbara Grant has also established a Wages & Working Conditions Committee for the upcoming Commercials negotiation. If you would like to serve on and attend the Nevada Local W&W, or if you have questions or a suggested proposal to be submitted, please email Local Executive Director Steve Clinton. For participation on either or both committees, please put contact information and permission to share such within the committee in your email.
by Barbara Grant
I am most gratified that we are seeing more work in our Local. Not only because I got to get out on a couple of sets, but because of the checks our members are getting to cash are much-needed here in Nevada. Kudos to all of you who have worked so far this year, and pray it continues.
Our Local Board met for the first time under the new union, SAG-AFTRA, in May. Some of you may not have noticed, but the ratified merger agreement changed us from a council and a Branch to a board and a Local. It also changed us from the Nevada Branch to Las Vegas Local. For many reasons, the Local Board felt this was not the ideal name change (mainly to be inclusive of our members in the northern and western parts of our local) and voted unanimously to change it back to the Nevada Local. We also voted unanimously to accept the Local Constitutional Committee draft and to forward our new Local constitution to the National Board for their approval. My thanks to Arttours Weeden, Kim Renee, Mary Ann Hebinck, Rick Rockne, Scott Mirne and John Burnside for their participation on this committee and the hours it took to prepare a draft for the Local Board to review.
Two other items of major import were setting up a committee for Commercials Wages and Working Conditions and our National Board Member’s report. First, my thanks to Art Lynch for a superlative report on the National Board’s movements forward in the new SAG-AFTRA. While the merger itself was only a first giant step in strengthening our great performer’s union, it was heartening to hear some of the details and difficulties of putting our two cultures together and how the elected and staff are working so diligently to make this happen and limit adverse effect on the members. One truly terrific tidbit was the National Board extending the contract of our national executive director, David White, for three years. In my heart and soul, I truly appreciate the job David has done for all of us.
Regarding the Wages and Working Conditions (W&W) Committee, I will chair this committee with the assistance of Scott Mirne (co-chair) and Rick Rockne. The purpose of this committee is to provide Nevada context to the 2013 National Commercials Contracts team. While I believe we have a great Commercials Contract in place, I would dearly love to hear from the Nevada membership about any issues that could be improved. Please let me or any members of the Local Board know if you would like to serve on this committee. We will probably meet for the first time in a couple of weeks.
I hope to see some of you this summer at the conservatory or on set this summer, but regardless, I wish a safe and happy summer for all of you. Take care, Barb!