LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK (Feb. 11, 2018) – The SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved a Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment as part of a broader program to combat sexual harassment and achieve workplace equity.
Meeting by videoconference between the James Cagney Board Room in Los Angeles and the Ken Howard Boardroom in New York on Saturday, the board received a report from President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White on the Four Pillars of Change Initiative being issued to members and industry representatives.
Carteris said, “To truly change the culture we must be courageous and willing. At its most basic, this Code will–ultimately–help better define what harassment is and what members’ rights are in those situations. We are going further, however, and are launching our Four Pillars of Change Initiative to achieve safe workplaces and advance equity.”
Carteris began the meeting by holding a moment of silence in memory of members who had passed away and paid tribute to past Screen Actors Guild president and noted actor John Gavin who passed away on Friday. She also spoke at length about the work the union is doing to combat sexual harassment including meetings and collaboration with partners like the Industry Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, led by Anita Hill, and SAG-AFTRA members affiliated with the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up campaign.
In addition, Carteris described her recent trip to Washington, D.C., where she and White met with congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, including Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), and with Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta. Carteris also appeared with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and others on a panel at an AFL-CIO convening on sexual harassment.
White added, “I would like to commend President Carteris and our many member advocates for using their voice to create change in the workplace for our members and for professionals everywhere. These efforts, along with our new Initiative and the work of so many others, will accelerate our collective ability to make the improvements we are all looking to achieve."
The board also approved dates for the negotiations of the Sound Recordings Code; and appointed the negotiations committee for the Network Code Wages and Working Conditions (W&W) process.
National Executive Director’s Report
White discussed the union’s priorities including combating sexual harassment, the Commercials Organizing & Recapture Initiative campaign as well as additional staff training for the Safer Set hotline. He also thanked Executive Producer Kathy Connell for her outstanding work on the 24th annual SAG Awards and commended Chief Information Officer Daniel Inukai, and his team for their work on the continued rollout of the union’s direct deposit program.
Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto reported that both revenue and expenses are tracking according to plan for the second quarter.
The board approved a finance committee recommendation to hold initiation fees at their current rates and to increase base dues from $210.12 to $214.32 as per the Merger Agreement effective May 1st, 2018.
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reported to the board on the Sound Recordings Negotiating Committee’s proposal recommendations for the 2018 Sound Recordings agreement negotiations. The board approved the recommendations.
Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez reported on the television animation negotiations. He updated the board on the animation community’s insistence of fair terms for animated programs made for high budget SVOD platforms.
The board also appointed the negotiations committee for the Network Code wages and working conditions process.
Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equity
The board discussed the Four Pillars of Change Initiative that will officially underpin the union’s mission to combat sexual harassment and reviewed the legal definition of sexual harassment. The board voted unanimously to approve the Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment to Advance Equity in the workplace.
Legal and Governance Report
Crabtree-Ireland updated the board on the member-driven process and policies relating to elections. Together with Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon, Crabtree-Ireland presented the Government Review Committee recommendations concerning the upcoming 2019 convention, as well as reviewed stunt coordinator standards and practices.
The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m. (Pacific) on February 10, 2018.