Lots happening in these scary and uncertain times. Please know that your union is still working hard for you (mostly from home, except for a few brave employees deemed “essential staff,” like those who work in the Residuals Processing Department). The National Board voted to not hold its April National Board meeting, as flying some 50 or so members from around the country to sit in a room of over 100 people for some 20 hours over two days doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. Instead, the National Board followed the recommendation of President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White and voted overwhelmingly to delegate our authority to the National Executive Committee. Since I am also on the National Executive Committee, I can assure you that we have been continuing to meet (virtually) and make decisions on things the union can do to help its members, like our COVID-19 safety protocols and our new sexual harassment safety policies. We also canceled our in-person July National Board meeting, and instead we held our National Board meeting via Zoom. We’ve also had many National Executive Committee meetings via Zoom since the pandemic started.
Some good news: The membership just passed our new, record-breaking TV/Theatrical Contracts by an overwhelming majority! Well done, Negotiating Committee! More good news: SAG-AFTRA is processing an average of almost 90,000 residual checks per week, which puts about $18 million into members’ pockets. Working in a rotation to ensure social distancing, the residuals team in Los Angeles comes into the office during this period when most others are working from home to preserve this crucial income stream for members. I’d like to express my deep appreciation to these dedicated staff members for all that they do.
And finally, as we are now beginning to hear of productions gearing up to begin shooting using our new COVID-19 safety protocols, I want to remind you all to continue social distancing, report anything you believe is unsafe on set, and, as productions are starting to cast, DON’T SIGN any COVID-19 liability waivers — EVER! Remember, it’s always the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace.
SAG-AFTRA National Board member
- Local News