I attended the SAG-AFTRA National Board meeting on April 21 and 22 and the Executive Committee and Committee of Locals meetings on April 20 in Los Angeles.
The National Board unanimously approved proposals for the Network Code negotiations. The current contract, formally known as the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, expires June 30, 2018. The Network Code covers syndicated and non-primetime dramatic programs, daytime serials, promotional announcements, variety, quiz, game, reality, talk, news and sports, and other non-dramatic programs.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris is chairing the contract negotiations and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is serving as the union’s chief negotiator. The Network Code wages and working conditions (W&W) process began in March and gave members the opportunity to discuss the contracts and suggest potential provisions. W&W serves as a vital tool for members to determine priorities when negotiating. Negotiations with the networks began on May 30.
The board then received a report from National Executive Director David White on the state of the industry and new technology. “The media industry is transforming at a rapid pace,” said White. “One of the most important things we can do as a union is be nimble and have a willingness to change and adapt with courage.”
We received additional reports, including:
Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto reported that both revenue and expenses are tracking according to plan for the third quarter and presented the fiscal year 2019 budget. It was unanimously approved.
In addition to a presentation of the Network Code proposals referenced above by Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez, the board also appointed members to the National Commercials Wages & Working Conditions Plenary Committee, chaired by President Carteris. The committee is charged with developing a recommended set of proposals for the 2019 commercials negotiations based on priorities determined by member input.
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland provided an update on the yearlong Telemundo negotiations, in which Crabtree-Ireland serves as chief negotiator. The negotiating team is working to reach the first collective bargaining agreement with Telemundo with the goal of establishing basic union protections and benefits, such as residuals, health insurance, retirement and fair wages.
Legal and Governance Report
Executive Vice President and Government Review Committee Chair Rebecca Damon and Crabtree-Ireland reported on Executive Committee actions and provided an update on several governance and administrative recommendations, including local constitutional amendments and other matters.
Damon reported on increased member participation on SAG-AFTRA committees and overall engagement nationwide.
National Board Member