Los Angeles 2016:02

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The Official E-Newsletter of the SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local
February 2016

L.A. LOCAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Interested in learning what SAG-AFTRA can do for you? Attend the Los Angeles Local Membership Meeting on Sunday, March 6, to find out. Join SAG-AFTRA L.A. Local President Jane Austin, the Local Board of Directors and your staff for a membership meeting and 2016 Ralph Morgan Award presentations to Morgan Fairchild and Anne-Marie Johnson. This is an opportunity for members to meet with expert staff, ask questions of elected representatives, and learn more about the programs and work of your board and committees.

When: Sunday, March 6, 2016

Where: Sportsmen’s Lodge, 12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

Parking will be validated. Parking entrance is located off of Coldwater Canyon Avenue at the rear of the venue.

This meeting is only open to SAG-AFTRA L.A. Local members in good standing. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of performers under 18 years old are welcome. SAG-AFTRA members please bring your membership card (paid through April 30, 2016) for admittance.

No RSVP necessary. We look forward to seeing you there!

MPTF ANNOUNCES KIRK DOUGLAS CARE PAVILION

In celebration of legendary actor Kirk Douglas’ 99th birthday, the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) announced plans on Dec. 9 to build a $35 million state-of-the-art care facility to be named the Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion on its Woodland Hills campus. The KDCP is expected to break ground in late 2016. It will be a two-story home for 80 industry members struggling with Alzheimer’s.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation, commented, “We are grateful to Kirk and Anne Douglas for making this leadership gift of $15 million. It will kick the design and planning of this incredible new facility into high gear.”

“The KDCP will allow MPTF to expand its care to more industry members with Alzheimer’s and those needing skilled nursing care,” said Bob Beitcher, president and CEO of MPTF. “The first floor of the KDCP will be the new home of Harry’s Haven, our nationally recognized Alzheimer’s unit,” said Beitcher. 

Visit the MPTF website for a virtual tour.

A Message from L.A. President Jane Austin

Jane Austin

Happy New Year! Each year, SAG-AFTRA works very hard on your behalf and this year will be no exception.

First, I would like to share some of the things that I have personally experienced and learned in the last few months that are directly related to our union’s core functions. 

At the end of January, the National Board was presented with proposals for the 2016 Commercials Contract package for approval. This is our largest contract and is the bread and butter for thousands of our members. Negotiations for this contract have started this month in New York. I am not personally involved with this negotiation, as I do not work this contract on a regular basis. I am a firm believer that members who work the specific contracts should be the ones to negotiate them. With that being said, I am planning on being very involved with the 2017 TV/Theatrical negotiations. The meetings seeking member input for the 2017 TV/Theatrical negotiations will begin later this year. I hope each one of you that works under this contract will participate in our Wages and Working (W&W) conditions process and add your voice. SAG-AFTRA needs to hear from you. We all see how fast our business is changing, so we need to immediately start focusing on goals and achievements to be ahead of the game. Be on the lookout for emails in the upcoming months. 

Having strong contracts is not enough. Their enforcement is a key issue. I am pleased to report that SAG-AFTRA has hired Brad Keenan as a contracts administration and enforcement managing advisor to work specifically on matters of enforcement and implementation. 

It is also essential that the union continues to organize more work opportunities for our members. With the changes in production, new media and just how projects are being made today, this is more important than you would think. To this effort, SAG-AFTRA has partnered with several creative outlets such as American Film Institute, The Art of Elysium, Rabbit Bandini Productions and others to ensure that nascent producers are signatory to our contracts, regardless of the platform in which the project is shown. As part of these partnerships, new filmmakers are being educated on creating projects using union performers. We also partnered with several industry and city entities on the Made in Hollywood Honors, where accolades were given to filmmakers and legendary composer/conductor John Williams for choosing to make projects here in our city. 

More exciting organizing news concerns a recent trip that the union made to Cuba. The organizers of the Havana Film Festival invited SAG-AFTRA to participate in the festival this year. As one of the members that traveled on this trip, I am pleased to report that it was very productive. We planted the union flag and laid a very solid foundation for our performers who will be working there in the future. It was also fascinating to learn that our fellow performers in Cuba are subject to the same professional challenges and concerns that we face in this country. 

Finally, my other focus this year will be to improve timely payment to members. We have acquired new, more efficient residuals processing machines and plans are moving forward to ultimately have our residuals paid electronically. We will be carefully monitoring our progress and making adjustments as needed to ensure members receive their money faster. 

In closing, I am very excited for 2016 and believe that we are in a position to achieve great things for our members. It is going to be a lot of work and take greater member involvement, but the benefits for our members will be worth it. Thus, I do have a request: I challenge you to get more involved with SAG-AFTRA. Read the emails that are sent out with event and program information. Find something that looks interesting and take a fellow member with you that has never been to a union event or meeting. Join me at our L.A. Local Membership Meeting on March 6 (see left column for details), where we will honor Anne-Marie Johnson and Morgan Fairchild with the Ralph Morgan Award. My heartfelt congratulations to both these dedicated women who gave exemplary service to our union. We will also report on key issues and priorities at this meeting. I challenge you to bring at least one member who has never before attended. We are only as strong as our members and I would like to set the goal of doubling member participation in 2016.

In unity,

Jane Austin