Los Angeles and New York, (July 17, 2016) – The SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors on Saturday approved the establishment of the TV/Theatrical/New Media Wages & Working Conditions and Negotiations Committee and appointed President Gabrielle Carteris chair.
"I'm honored that the board chose me to lead these crucial negotiations on the entertainment contracts covering motion pictures, television series, and new media," Carteris said. "I'm looking forward to collaborating with SAG-AFTRA members during the Wages and Working Conditions process."
The action occurred during a regularly scheduled one-day videoconference plenary during which the board also reviewed and acted on several administrative, finance and governance matters and received reports including:
President Gabrielle Carteris reported on her first 100 days as SAG-AFTRA president. Carteris told the board that she had traveled the country meeting and talking with hundreds of SAG-AFTRA members in locals, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington-Mid Atlantic, San Francisco and others.
She updated board members on her work in Washington, D.C., where she met with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, members of Congress and other officials.
Carteris also reported on the union’s successful “Celebration of Journalism” reception in partnership with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, The Washington Post and Variety. The evening celebration held on White House Correspondents' weekend honored journalists for their work in reporting the world’s critical news.
Carteris reported on her recent keynote address to the California Federation of Labor Biennial Convention in Oakland, Calif. During her keynote address, she recognized award recipient and United Farm Workers Co-Founder Dolores Huerta for her lifetime of achievements.
Her convention appearance came during a two-day trip to the Bay Area during which she also held a press conference and hosted a rally supporting employees at San Francisco's KNBR radio who are negotiating a first contract with parent company Cumulus Media.
Carteris noted that among the goals she has set for her presidency are enhancing diversity and expanding employment opportunities for all members.
Carteris concluded her report with praise for the work of National Executive Director David White and the staff team, and commended the members of the national board for their extraordinary service during the first half of the year.
Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto reported the fiscal year 2016 results including a surplus of $12 million due to higher than projected revenue and enhanced expense management.
The board also received an unqualified opinion with respect to the audit conducted by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
National Executive Director’s Report
National Executive Director David White praised Ozzanto and the staff team for their contributions to the positive financial results, citing strict observance of union expense management policies and sound accounting practices.
White reported on the merger of the SAG and AFTRA health plans, which was announced last month and becomes effective January 1, 2017, mentioning a series of highly successful informational meetings over the last month. The final health plan meeting planned for this round is scheduled for July 27.
The board also voted to appoint trustees to the historic, newly merged SAG-AFTRA health plan.
White also announced the grand opening of the union’s Member Care Contact Center in May. The contact center integrates best practices for customer service and relationship management techniques used in public interactive systems, including the union's telephone system, website, and chat functions.
White informed the board that the union is evaluating a number of effectiveness metrics, including satisfaction surveys, completion data, and other factors. The call-response completion times have been faster than initial targets, and members are getting their inquiries answered even faster than initially anticipated. White cited, in particular, a 97-percent satisfaction rate reported to the union through customer service surveys.
White further updated the board on the highly successful contract enforcement and organizing efforts in TV/Theatrical, Commercials and other contract areas.
“We have put in place several technology innovations and new practices that will result in more efficient member service and better tracking of enforcement violations and reports," White said. "These new measures will help us protect members on the job and ensure that we are solving their questions quickly and easily."
Legal and Governance Report
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reported on Executive Committee and Governance actions, which included the approval of the Commercials Contracts as well as committee appointments and a local constitutional amendment.
Crabtree-Ireland also reported on legal matters and the union’s foreign royalties collection and distribution program.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m. PT July 16.