The President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach & Engagement hosted a Safety & Reopening: Getting Members Back to Work livestream on Aug. 4.
The presentation comes at an important time when productions around the country are either preparing to reopen or have already done so. In her opening remarks, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “It’s really important that [members] are empowered and understand what’s taking place so you can decide if you feel safe enough to go back to work.”
Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon and Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland began the livestream with an overview of the union’s work to address health and safety concerns for film, television and new media productions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversation focused on the development of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee’s white paper report, which included input from the SAG-AFTRA President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Safety, IATSE, the Directors Guild of America and the Teamsters. From there, they reviewed The Safe Way Forward, a 36-page report outlining recommended social-distancing practices on set, with input from top epidemiologists and safety experts.
Said Damon, “I was delighted to work with our other union allies as we thought through what [these protocols] would look like, and was impressed by the tenacity and level of detail they brought to the conversation.”
Throughout the rest of the presentation and Q&A session, Crabtree-Ireland focused on the important role on-site testing will play as actors and other performer groups such as broadcasters go back on set, to the newsroom or on location.
“Ultimately, the employer has the responsibility legally to maintain a safe set,” said Crabtree-Ireland. “The role of the union is for us to make sure we hold them to that account.”
To watch the presentation, scroll below, and please visit the Back to Work hub for resources and updates.
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