SAG-AFTRA Vice President, New York Local President, Rebecca Damon

Dear Members,

Today New York City enters Phase 2 of the state's Reopening Process. Phase 2 includes outdoor dining and take-out, offices, real estate, Phase 2 retail, hair salons and barbershops under detailed safety guidelines. The rest of New York is either in Phase 2 or Phase 3 of the state’s Reopening Process. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the latest protocols for our work at SAG-AFTRA's Back to Work hub. This hub is regularly expanded with additional protocols for all industries and areas in which SAG-AFTRA members work.

Under New York State guidelines for Phase 2, certain aspects of pre- and post-production are authorized to resume with restrictions, as well as principal photography limited to a maximum of 10 people.

The continued work of SAG-AFTRA's Blue Ribbon Commission on Safety is being guided and reviewed by preeminent epidemiologists and specialists in public health and occupational health and safety. As more becomes known about the virus, these protocols will be updated based on the latest science.

If you haven’t had a chance to take a deeper dive yet, it is important that you read The Safe Way Forward, a multi-union report from SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) that lays out testing, PPE and sanitation as an integral part of the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

While we take these steps forward as a community, I urge us all to wear a mask to protect others when you are out and about. Wearing a mask is a sign that you care about others and is critical to helping slow the spread of the disease. Take a moment to be proud of what our diligence as a community has accomplished, but please remember that we must still practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene on our path to recovery.

As we begin summer, we continue in our fight to create a just and equitable society.

Amidst the backdrop of systemic racism, SAG-AFTRA is taking concrete steps to fight it through our leadership and the work of our EEO Committee chaired locally by New York Vice President Ezra Knight. Please also join us Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. ET for the President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach & Engagement panel on Race & Storytelling moderated by national Diversity Advisory Committee Chair Jason George.  (Watch HERE.) The panel is the first in a series of livestream conversations focused on race, storytelling and equal opportunity for all. Stay tuned for future programs addressing diversity and inclusion featuring SAG-AFTRA members and other industry representatives. 

June is Pride Month and we have a long overdue milestone to celebrate in the Supreme Court's ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. Firing someone for being LGBTQ is now illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

The fight continues.

Onward together,

Rebecca Damon
SAG-AFTRA Executive Director & N.Y. Local President


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