On April 11, New England local broadcasters and performers came together for their annual membership meeting at District Hall in Boston’s Seaport District. Over 100 members joined for a social hour followed by the meeting, which covered a variety of topics, including the organizing of broadcast station 90.9 WBUR-FM into the union, the New England Regional Commercials Code and the union’s new Short Project Agreement.
Local President Michele Proude opened the meeting with greetings followed by remarks from Lisa Strout, the director of the Massachusetts Film Office, who spoke about the growth of the film industry in the state. Additional reports, presented by local leadership and staff, covered the local’s broadcast news shops, TV/film and new media productions, local legislative affairs, and other SAG-AFTRA local and national initiatives.
A featured panel discussion covered WBUR’s recent organizing effort and historic 73-3 vote on Feb. 27 to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union. Moderated by New England Local Broadcast Vice President Vic Ramos, panelists included WBUR’s Education Reporter Max Larkin and Senior News Writer Sara-Rose Brenner as well as SAG-AFTRA Director of Organizing Maggie Russell-Brown. Panelists spoke about the conditions underlying the worker’s efforts to unionize, as well as the unit’s successful use of social media, particularly the use of their Twitter handle @wemakewbur, to gain community support and strengthen the effort. Negotiations for a first contract with the station’s owner, Boston University, are tentatively set to begin in June.
Photo: SAG-AFTRA New England members show their union pride at the annual membership meeting on April 11.
- Local News