LOS ANGELES (Oct. 28, 2012) – The National Board of Directors of SAG-AFTRA met in a scheduled two-day plenary this weekend at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles.
With the merger approved and the process of integrating operations of the two unions well under way, the board discussed the consolidation of locals nationwide. When the unions merged in March, every location in which either Screen Actors Guild or the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists had an office became a local of SAG-AFTRA. In streamlining the organization to best serve members, the original 33 locals were consolidated into 25.
The National Board unanimously voted to approve the following locals: Atlanta, Arizona-Utah, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas-Fort Worth, Hawaii, Houston-Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, Michigan, Missouri-Kansas City-Nebraska, Nashville, Nevada, New England, New Orleans, New Mexico, New York, Ohio Allegheny, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco-Northern California, Seattle, Twin Cities, Washington-Mid Atlantic.
When the union's permanent governance structure is in place in September 2013, the number of national board seats allotted for the 25 locals will be 70. The two largest locals, Los Angeles and New York, will have 28 and 16 board members respectively. The 10 national officers also serve on the SAG-AFTRA national board bringing its total size to 80.
Members reviewed and approved nominations and elections policy recommendations for the new union, leading up to its first national convention in 2013.
Co-President Ken Howard opened the meeting and spoke of the work the union’s staff has undertaken since merger and recognized the many members he has met with in the last 6 months who have expressed their approval with the merger. He also read the honor roll of members who have passed away since the previous board meeting and led a moment of silence in their memory.
Co-President Roberta Reardon reported all national committee chairs and members have been selected. She also reported that the Commercials Negotiations Wages and Working Conditions process has concluded member meetings.
Later in the meeting, members received an additional update on the negotiations process from Assistant National Executive Director for Contracts and co-lead negotiator for the commercials agreement, Ray Rodriguez. Rodriguez recommended, and the board approved, adding an additional seven alternates to the W&W Plenary Committee and Commercials Negotiating Committee. The addition of 7 alternates brings the committee total to 17 members and 16 alternates including the national chair, three vice chairs and a local and regional codes liaison. The W&W Plenary at which the recommended proposals will be reviewed and adopted is scheduled to take place on Nov. 17 and 18 in Los Angeles.
National Executive Director’s Report
National Executive Director David White updated the board on the union’s operations including a report on the already announced voluntary severance program. White’s report included an overview of SAG-AFTRA’s music-related jurisdiction, including our Sound Recordings Agreement and other contracts, presented by Randall Himes, Assistant National Executive Director for Sound Recordings.
Executive Vice President’s Report
National Executive Vice President Ned Vaughn reported to the board on the union’s continued relationship with the USO and planned events coming up for Veteran’s Day and the holiday season. Vaughn urged members to participate in troop support activities held at their locals.
Co-Secretary Treasurers’ Report
The reports Co-Secretary Treasurers Amy Aquino and Matt Kimbrough provided an update on the union’s financials and reviewed the first quarter results.
General Counsel’s Report
Members also received the regularly scheduled report from legal counsel including a report on the SAG-AFTRA foreign royalties program. Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reported that the union has distributed $14.59 million to members that if uncollected, would have been lost to members forever.
Executive Committee Report
The Board received a report on the Local Assignment of SAG-AFTRA members as well as the Member Category designation for each member. In accordance with the principles set forth in the SAG-AFTRA Merger Agreement, members have been assigned to locals based on a roster of zip code assignments. Local assignment may affect a member’s eligibility to run and serve as a member of the National Board or Local Board and Convention Delegate from the member’s local area in future elections
The recently distributed November dues bill includes a check box for members to self-select their member category from among the listed choices. In accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution, to be eligible to serve as a category National Vice President a member must have been declared a member of that category for the twelve (12) months prior to the date of his or her nomination. Similar requirements may exist for other elected category representative positions if provided for in the applicable Local constitution. Declarations that are made no later than December 31, 2012, will be deemed to be retroactive to the inception date of SAG-AFTRA. This selection has no impact on a member’s ability to work under any SAG-AFTRA agreement and will only be used internally for union elections and governance purposes.
Pension, Health & Retirement Report
The Board received a report on the progress of reciprocity and/or merger of the SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Plans. The trustees of both organizations, which are separate from the union, have initiated formal communications regarding the issue of reciprocity and, ultimately merger between the plans, and discussions are progressing between the two organizations.
The meeting was recessed on Saturday, October 27, in memory of recording artist Louis Nunley, who recently passed away.
The meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m. October 28.
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 entertainment and media professionals including actors, announcers,broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and others. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.
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