NEW YORK -- Wrapping up three days of work on various charter documents and issues related to the proposed Consolidation and Affiliation of AFTRA and SAG, the Joint Committee announced it has finalized the recommended Constitutions and By-Laws for the new union and its three affiliates. These documents outline the governance structure, membership requirements and other items related to the operation of the four entities, and will be submitted to the National Boards for approval at a joint videoconference on Saturday, April 12.

Earlier in the week, the Committee finalized its recommendations for the name of each entity, calling the proposed new union the Alliance of International Media Artists (AIMA). The Actors’ Affiliate will be known as Screen Actors Guild (SAG); the Broadcasters’ Affiliate will be the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Recording Artists’ Affiliate will be the American Federation of Recording Artists (AFRA).

AFTRA President John Connolly and SAG President Melissa Gilbert issued the following statement: “These documents are the result of months and months of hard work, dedication and commitment by the members of the Joint Committee, at the direction of our National Boards. We couldn’t be more proud of the work completed, as well as the wonderfully cooperative spirit demonstrated by these individual leaders and staff as they made challenging decisions in the interests of our combined membership. These materials will provide the foundation for a new strong and effective organization, protecting artists’ rights and interests in the global marketplace.”

Also to be presented on April 12 is the Consolidation and Affiliation Agreement, which details procedures for a limited transition period, during which time the new union would be governed by an Interim Board, comprised of current SAG and AFTRA National Board members. The current union Presidents would serve as Co-Presidents; the current Treasurers as Co-Treasurers; and the current National Executive Directors would serve jointly as well.

The materials to be presented to the National Boards of AFTRA and SAG also outline the proposed dues structure and initiation fees required to maintain a viable financial foundation for the union. The formula will allow the union to operate more efficiently as it faces future challenges, while balancing the interests of members who have varied dues histories and current obligations.

The Actors’ Affiliate (SAG) Constitution adopts the membership qualification requirements currently applied by the Screen Actors Guild. In response to member input, a provision was added to the Consolidation and Affiliation Agreement allowing for the tightening of entrance requirements specifically applicable to background performers.

“The Joint Committee recognized that the current three-voucher system in place for background actors in SAG has a number of inherent problems and must be eliminated and replaced with a more restrictive method of qualification,” said President Gilbert. “Both Boards will be addressing this issue directly.”

President Connolly said, “Incorporating concerns from these hard-working performers is completely consistent with the committee’s ongoing examination of issues raised by hundreds of members, individually and collectively, during this incredible process, including the needs of broadcasters and recording artists. While employment environments may differ, we clearly all share, as workers and employees of the very same corporations, far more in common than not.”

The Boards will meet together on April 12, and then each Board will meet separately.

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