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Will Tonight’s info be another Pisano Dog & Pony Show? What happened at the New York Info Meeting? And colorful maps to get you there –TONIGHT AT SEVEN!

April 19, 2005 (20:20) | 2005 | By: Arlin Miller

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Tonight’s Informational meeting concerning the new proposed TV/Theatrical contract promises to be more than the New York Dog and Pony Show! That’s because David Jolliffe, co-chair of the Negotiating Committee, will share the dais! He not only opposes this contract but also has the facts to back up his opposition. (maps below)

Informational Meeting on Proposed TV/theatrical Meeting

Thursday, February 17 at 7:00 PM
Culver City Veteran Memorial Auditorium
4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City

Why Culver City? The mess hall in Antarctica was already booked!

It should be very interesting! CEO Bob and his dog and pony show isn’t all that affective when the opposition is actually allowed to confront their propaganda.

The following was posted on the SAG Actor Bulletin Board by Erik-Anders Nilsson a New York SAG member:………………………(photo is SW’s)

dais:

Roberta Reardon
Paul Christie
Robert Pisano
Greg Hessinger
John McGuire
Stephen Burrows

About 70-80 in the audience. About 85% USAN members –NY SAG Board members and their devoted friends (as usual in NYC).

After a typical bullet-point presentation glorifying the 3-year contract, the floor was opened for questions.

At the microphone I asked:
“How can SAG and AFTRA call this deal ‘the richest agreement “ever negotiated in the history of the Screen Actors Guild when the percentages (2.25% / 3% / 3%) are the lowest in history?”

answer:
Well…we got more of the same points from presentation.

I also asked…’Who paid for the full page Variety ad supporting the 2005 contract agreement which did NOT have a “Not Paid For With SAG Funds” disclaimer?

answer:
SAG and AFTRA did. (which explains no disclaimer)
(We all paid for the ad folks!)

I asked: Why no DVD residual increase….. when USAN’s own website states:

“USANs VISION
OUR 2004 PLATFORM
USAN wants to outline some of the pressing challenges we are ready to take on, We will:

Fight for a strong 3-Year TV/Theatrical contract, just as we secured the TV/Theatrical Extension (getting dayplayer rates on the WB & UPN increased by over 100%). We’ll go after additional bumps in wages, residuals (yes, including DVDs and technologies soon to eclipse DVDs), P&H producer contributions…”

answer:
no real answer except we are getting residuals already. And that the $22 Billion DVD profit number is mostly from ….”porno”. The covered union figure is really closer to “only” $7 BILLION.
(Hello….$7 Billion is $7 BILLION!)

Asked if the number of new BG jobs promised was calculated by assuming the FULL minimum SAG number was used. (We all know sometimes NO BG are needed–or only a few are needed on a particular day.)

answer:
Not really answered.

I stated to Mr. Pisano that in my opinion his being BOTH a CEO of SAG and a Board member of NETFLIX was a conflict of interest.

He answered honestly that he disclosed it from the beginning and that he was found to have NO conflict by courts.

Interestingly, in his recent email to the membership James Cromwell played-up our DVD deal by proudly proclaiming:

“Last year we made well over $100 million in DVD residuals and that number is expected to grow by tens of millions more by the end of this contract!”

But, Of course, when Pisano and those who are pushing this deal want to down-play the fact that they got NO INCREASE in DVD, they dismiss the DVD revenue pool by saying that most of the profits are from porno, and the covered figures are ONLY about 7 Billion dollars!

Hmmm, it seems that once again those pushing this contract proposal are having a few problems in the Ol’ WAG department. (Wild Ass Guesses)

Well, let’s do the math: SAG gets right at 1% of producers take on DVD! Therefore, if according to Mr. Cromwell, SAG made WELL OVER *money ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. The producers had to have made WELL OVER *money TEN BILLION DOLLARS! Which is WELL OVER *money SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS! (It seems Bob and his gang have a different figure for every occasion!)

And of course, we don’t know how much of the kickback money, stock options and DVD’s on consignment we’re being screwed out of! In the latest audit coordinated by SAG/WGA/DGA, Joe Sisson, SAG’s Associate Director of Residuals, stated in a legal deposition:

“Although documents pertaining to home video, including REVENUE SHARING AGREEMENTS, have been requested by auditors, Universal has NOT YET PROVIDED THOSE DOCUMENTS TO AUDITORS!”*

Look, the only thing pornographic about DVD is the screwing we’re getting by not only the studios and producers–but by our current leadership!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

“A Compliant Union is a good union!” Lew Wasserman, Chairman MCA.

Here’s a couple of maps to help you find your way to tonight’s info meeting. The Ol’ Dog hopes to see you there


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Another Watchdog EXCLUSIVE– and this one is HOT! The Ol’ Dog has sniffed out a bootlegged video copy of CEO Bob Pisano in rehearsal for the upcoming February 17th Proposed Contract Informational Meeting!

April 19, 2005 (20:20) | 2005 | By: Arlin Miller

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Now everyone is aware that the current leadership spiel for members is that we will get ours tomorrow! We were persuaded to vote for the extension because we’d have a year to gear-up to go after DVD. Uh, well that didn’t happen, did it?

And now, we are being told that if we just vote for this contract with its revisionist rollbacks in residuals, copyright giveaway, and zero increase in our share of DVDs we will be in a stronger position in 3 years because of the coterminous alliance of the various guilds.

Yes, if we just wait until tomorrow!

Anyho’, the Ol’ Dog has sniffed out a bootlegged copy of CEO Bob in full-dress rehearsal for his upcoming appearance at the February 17th Informational Meeting’s *ideaPower Point Presentation to convince members to vote for this contract! Mr. Pisano’s voice is great– and beckons back to his little theater days in San Jose! (Although he is a tad stiff and could use a wee-bit more expression in his delivery.)

Please pardon the quality and sync problems of the video, which was surreptitiously shot using a second hand satellite videophone reputedly requisitioned from Geraldo Rivera’s trash bin.

Make sure your *sound sound is on then Click Geraldo’s videophone to view CEO Bob’s stunning performance! (It’s on a loop for continued enjoyment!)

Informational Meeting on Proposed TV/theatrical Meeting

Thursday, February 17 at 7:00 PM
Culver City Veteran Memorial Auditorium
4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City

“A Compliant Union is a good union!” Lew Wasserman, Chairman MCA.

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Get out the Ol’ magnifying glass and read this proposed contract VERY CLOSELY! Here’s something else that you might of missed about the alleged 1% increase in PH!

April 19, 2005 (20:20) | 2005 | By: Arlin Miller

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Like, we said whenever a paragraph in the ballot material begins with “In Order to” watch your backside and tightly squeeze your buttocks!

For instance on page 4 under the heading Sideletter Regarding ” Special Conditions For Pilots Or Presentations And New Series,” it reads:

In Order to promote the production of new dramatic programming, the 3% IACF/ICF *contribution and the increase in the contribution rate to the SAG Pension & Health Plans and AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds shall not apply to pilots or presentations produced on or after July 1, 2005 or to the first two seasons of any new one hour series exhibited on or after July 1, 2005.”

That’s right! ALL you new series performers will NOT get that extra 1% going into PH for the next TWO YEARS! Unfortunately even Jamie Cromwell was able to protect guest stars and day performers on this one. Yep! They drowned the whole family this time!

Are you beginning to get the idea that their proclaimed 1% increase in PH ain’t really an actual 1% percent increase? Much the same as the first year 3% increase ain’t really a 3% increase because it doesn’t start until three months into the contract. Ah, just as that Extra 10 million bucks for background players ain’t really 10 mil contract gain because most of it is paid for by the 7 million dollar payback engendered by those first three months of no increase in minimums. Now you see it! Now you don’t! With their slight of hand, these folks should be having their upcoming informational meeting at the Magic Castle! Ah, no wait that’s for benevolent wizards–not evil ones.

Oh, well get out the Ol’ magnifying glass and go at, before you vote on this–THE WORST CONTRACT IN SAG HISTORY!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

*IACF/IFC are funds that are mutually beneficial to both the unions & the producers! The funds support such programs as monitoring, protection of animals on sets, young performers looking ahead programs, etc.

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Watchdog Exclusive: You WON’T read this anywhere else! SAG Members KEPT IN DARK about how many MILLIONS OR BILLIONS OF DOLLARS their 1% increase in PH will COST them! Read the SENTENCE that SAG’s Leadership doesn’t want you to read– and then you decide way they LEFT IT OUT of your ballot material!

April 19, 2005 (20:20) | 2005 | By: Arlin Miller

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Our current SAG/AFTRA leadership has ballyhooed this new contract proposal as the greatest thing since sliced bread! The only thing is–that the more closely one examines the material made available to the membership; the more one sees that the studios/producers are the ones that are getting the real dough! And that in itself is bad enough! But when an Ol Dog starts to scratch around and digs up things that THEY AREN’T TELLING THE MEMBERSHIP, then he’s got a real bone to pick! And that is the case with the proposed 1% increase that producers are ALLEGEDLY GIVING US!

Now I say allegedly, because it isn’t exactly clear whether they’re GIVING US ANYTHINGBUT THE SHAFT!

Now, in your ballot material under INCREASES IN CONTRIBUTIONS TO BENEFIT PLANS it reads, SAG Pension and health Plans Contribution Increases

“Producer contributions to the SAG Pension and Health plan will increase by 1% to 14.5% as of 7/1/05″

So, you figure, hey, we gained 1% percent in PH?! But hold on! Did we actually gain anything– or did we just sellout– at bargain basement prices? Let’s reread that line again. Only this time including what CEO Bob, Melissa and senior staff– LEFT OUT!

“Producer contributions to the SAG Pension and Health plan will increase by 1% to 14.5% as of 7/1/05.” The contributions generated by this increase shall include a buy-out of the Producers’ commitments with respect to the Copyright Term Extension law.”

So, much for the current leadership’s claim that THEY got us a 1% gain in our PH! THEY didn’t get us a damn thing! The Producers BOUGHT OUT A COMMITMENT TO US under the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. An act that extends the duration of US copyrights by TWENTY YEARS! An EXTRA Twenty years to make *moneyBILLIONS AND BILLIONS more off SAG members work!

Now, how much was that commitment worth to our members and their heirs? No one knows! Or no one is talking! Your SAG Membership First Negotiating Committee Members asked! But NO ONE would give them an answer. Not CEO Pisano. Not senior staff! And, certainly not AMPTP’ head negotiator Nick Counter. In fact, the lack of response on this issue was one of the prime reasons that they voted against this contract!

Would you vote for a deal that included a buy-out, that could deny our members *money Millions if not *money Billions of dollars down the road–without getting expert testimony on the potential worth of what you were giving up? Well, that’s what the “go-along-to-get-along” SAG Restore Respect and AFTRA negotiators did! And if we vote for it too, we could be screwing not only ourselves but our heirs and their heirs down the road.

Hey, some members may say, “No Big Deal!” And that is their right!

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, ISN’T IT THE RIGHT OF EVERY MEMBER TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY’RE VOTING FOR— BEFORE THEY VOTE ON IT?

Apparently, not! At least according to the current leadership, that has turned our great union into the Secret Actors Guild!

HOW CAN YOU VOTE FOR A CONTRACT PROFFERED BY LEADERS THAT KEEP YOU IN THE DARK ABOUT IT! YOU CAN’T TRUST THESE PEOPLE!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief *

“A Compliant Union is a good union!” Lew Wasserman, Chairman MCA.

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Dog Bites Cromwell!

April 19, 2005 (20:20) | 2005 | By: Arlin Miller

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This post is in response to James Cromwell’s 2/11/05 email responding to Anne-Marie Johnson’s SAG Callsheet letter! We are definitely a responsive group! Anyho’ Mr. Cromwell’s comments will feature his photo; mine will be accompanied by the Ol’ SAG Watchdog icon!

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SAG Hollywood members just heard the wrong recommendation from Anne-Marie Johnson.
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The wrong recommendation? How about an opposing viewpoint? And, This from the “One world union, or NO UNION AT ALL” guy who tried to persuade us to vote for Consolidation by appealing to our intellect with his in depth truncated treatise “Less Dues, More Muscle!”

She doesn’t think you should support the proposed TV/Theatrical Contract. She says it’s a bad deal – even though it’s the single richest contract ever secured for actors in our history and includes $144 million in wage increases for all performers; $60 million of employer money into our benefits plans; 75,000 new jobs for background actors; new weapons to battle reality programming and advance scripted television; and keeps actors working, uninterrupted, for another three years.

The single richest deal? Ah, Okay! But that’s only because they are working off a $1.2 Billion Contract! If they had only gotten a *moneySINGLE BUCK it would still be the single richest in SAG history! Besides being the, ah, “richest” contract, it is also the Worst contract in SAG History: A precedent-setting rollback in actors residuals, no increase in DVD, and the lowest increases in minimums in recent SAG History. Originally, they claimed that it was a 3/3/3 9% across-the-board gain in minimums. But then it was pointed out by observant members that since the increases would not kick-in until 10/1/05 (3 months after the contract begins on 7/1/05) it was in reality a 2.25-3-3 across-the-board 8.25% increase! Even if you want to compound the interest, it doesn’t reach 9%! They have since officially dropped the 3/3/3, but still insist its 9%! While at the same time their fellow proponent, and NY Chair of the negotiation committee, has sent out an email claiming it’s a 9.27% increase. As, you will see, these folks have an affinity for changing numbers to suit their agenda.

But, unlike Mr. Cromwell, and the administration’s WAG (Wild Ass Guess), when it comes to figures, mine are backed with documentation! And not only do they prove that this contract’s proposed minimums are the worst three-year minimums in recent SAG History! You’ll notice that they also contain the lowest one-year minimum gain!

INCREASES IN MINIMUMS:

1989-1992: 4-4-4
1992-1995: 4-4-4
1995-1998 – 3.5-3.5-3.5
2001-2004: 3-3-3.5
EXTENSION: 2.5
Proposed contract: 2005-2008: 2.25-3-3

You may remember the current SAG Leaderships’ press release ballyhooing their new deal.

(Los Angeles, January 20, 2005) “Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) announced today that they have negotiated a sweeping $200 million agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on a new three-year television and theatrical contract!”

Well, according to several members of the negotiating committee, the “agreement” numbers mentioned during the final day of negotiations was $150 million dollars! In fact, they were told by senior staff that any numbers they were given WERE NOT TO BE TRUSTED! A half hour after the negotiations concluded, the number jumped to $200 Million dollars for SAG’s press release! Well, unless, my math is showing, it has jumped again! Let’s see $144 million plus $60 million. ah, don’t that add up to $204 Million? Hey, at that erratic rate of increase, if we vote this contract down, by the time we return to negotiationsthe damn thing could be up to a half Billion! As to the 75,000 background jobs does any one doubt that they’re doing a little EXTRA fudging there also.

I encourage you to read the following and then make up your own mind. This contract is supported by a 3-1 margin of your joint national board. It offers historic gains at a time when unions across the country are accepting severe rollbacks or striking simply to maintain the status quo.
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What James fails to mention along with his 3-1 remark, is that the SAG negotiating committee voted against it, 8 to 5! But, AFTRA voted 12-1 for it! So, the only reason we are even being proffered this contract now is because of AFTRA’s influence! So there you are, SAG’s negotiators with a 95% interest in the contract voted it down, while AFTRA with only a 5% stake voted it up! You’ll hear the argument that AFTRA’s negotiators are dual card members. Huh? Okay! But as AFTRA negotiators whose interest were they there to represent? And if it wasn’t AFTRA’s, why the heck were they there? Oh, and James tries to justify this deal resplendent with Historical rollbacks and revenue challenged minimums by comparing SAG, a union representing the biggest stars in the world, with other unions, like the pilots union, that is currently experiencing rollbacks because their employers are losing $BILLIONS! Jamie, our employers are making *money BILLIONS! Perhaps we should all chip in an get James a subscription to the trades so that he can read about the *moneyBILLIONS UPON BILLIONS of dollars our employers are raking in from the BOOMING DVD MARKET. It is so much loot that they won’t even reveal how much they are pocketing from overseas sales. Reading James’ comments, one wonders if there is any rationale he wouldn’t use to justify his “go-along-to-get-along” attitude.

So what sparks Ms. Johnson’s opposition? “Losses” for series regulars, a deal reached “too early,” and, of course, DVD residuals. The problem is, she’s wrong on all three. Here’s what you need to know:

Series Regulars: What does a new series regular want most? A successful show that offers long-term employment. Our member-led negotiating team agreed to a proposal that gives new shows a better shot to stay on the air, by forgoing additional payments to series regulars for rebroadcasts of just the first three episodes of new series, and only in the first 60 days of their launch – payments our members typically don’t get anyway.

“Forgoing additional payments …for rebroadcasts..!” S ay it straignt out, Jamie! What you’re talking about is actors GIVING UP RESIDUALS! “A proposal that gives new shows a better shot to stay on the air!” Not a proposal, Jamie! A GIVEAWAY! “Payments our members typically don’t get anyway.” Huh? Now there’s the kind of sorry, groveling reasoning, the studios would love for all of us to embrace! Hey, why don’t we just cut our rates in half? Heck, then they’d be doing all kinds of new shows! How about throwing in weekends free? I got it! Let’s have 18 hour days like they used to have before we had a union. In fact let’s just get rid of our union–and there would never be another work stoppage! Oh, and there would be plenty of long term employment! Get real, does any one truly believe that our forfeiture of those three residuals is going to help a show succeed! Let’s do the math again! Even if a new show had a cast of 10 regulars! The residual cap for each member is $3,225. That would add up to $32,500 dollars a show! And they expect members to believe that by giving producers a $32,500 dollar break on a show, that probably costs a*money MILLION DOLLARS or more an episode, is going to make or break that show! Hell, by combining the savings on all three shows, all that is going to be accomplished is that if the show fails, producers can use OUR money to pick up, say, a new Mercedes Benz SL Roadster to bolster their shattered egos! Let’s face it! It’s not about the money. It’s about the precedent! The Ol’ foot in the door maneuver! Our predecessors put their careers on the line in 1960 to get us residuals! And now, we’re about to take the first foolhardy backward step toward the precipice of what producers refer to as the “good” Ol’ days! Does anyone doubt that in three years, they’ll use this precedent-setting rollback to bargain away even more of our most sacrosanct of our revenue tenets? “You will pay us for the reuse of our workno ifs, ands, or buts!” Hey, we practically “gave” them cable and DVDand we are still paying for those stupendous stumbles! And now they want us to give up residuals? I don’t think so!

In doing so, they made sure guest stars and day performers are protected and remain fully compensated for these rebroadcasts.

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Ain’t that like sorta like saying that we only allowed them to drown part of your family?
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Should series regulars make this sacrifice in exchange for a greater chance to see a new series picked up? As a series regular, I know what my decision is.
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Hmmm, I wonder how many residuals Mr. Cromwell has given up on “Six Feet Under?” Here’s a thought? How about everyone who signed that ad in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety supporting this contract, offer to give up three residual checks on any show or series on which they appear? I’m sure we could ALL get behind that! And, Jamie as a good faith gesture: why don’t you have your people call their people on Monday to get the Ol’ ball rolling?

The Timing of the Deal: We secured the richest contract ever for actors by negotiating when we had maximum leverage – before the major media companies invest millions of dollars preparing for a possible strike. Ms. Johnson would have us go back to the table when we have less power, not more, when the chances of a work stoppage rise substantially. In today’s Hollywood Reporter, one of her allies states that he “assumes” actors can get a better contract if we turn this one down. Are you willing to vote against a contract worth $200 million in gains for actors based on someone’s assumption? I’m not.

Ooops! The contract just dropped back down to $200 million! Look, Nick Counter and the AMPTP negotiators knew that they were dealing with a “go-along-to-get-along” leadership–that campaigned on the plank that a strike was not necessary to get a good contract! Knowing this, there was no way that they were going to give us a good deal! Why should they? At least if we went back with a mandate from the membership to get a better deal, they might take us seriously! Especially, if our leaders recruited star power to help get a good deal during negotiations, rather than recruiting them, after the fact, to push a bad deal upon us! Hey, is it just me– but wouldn’t you think, contrary to James’ convoluted logic, that we’d have more power “when the chances of a work stoppage rise substantially!” Now, I don’t know, but if there ain’t NO CHANCE OF A WORK STOPPAGE why would they give us any meaningful increases? Oh, by the way when you read the material accompanying your ballot– and they begin a paragraph with “In order to” watch your backside, Babe! *butt

The truth about DVDs? Here’s the truth: We get residuals now. We get get them from home video, from cable reruns and network reruns. For the past decade, an actor’s share of DVD residuals has increased nearly 9 percent every year – 54 percent over the past three years. Last year we made well over $100 million in DVD residuals and that number is expected to grow by tens of millions more by the end of this contract. Did our negotiators still try to change the formula to get us even more? Yes. But when producers were unyielding, instead of moving to shut down our industry over this one issue, our team used it to leverage gains across-the-board in nearly every other area. Is the DVD issue worth asking every working actor to sacrifice for the benefit of a lucky few? You decide.

Out and out lie! Our negotiated “share” of DVD HAS NOT INCREASED in nearly a QUARTER OF A CENTURY! It’s the same as it has been since the early Eighties when the deal was made! They take EIGHTY PERCENT off the top, and dole out to us a miniscule “share” of the remaining TWENTY PERCENT! Actors’ “share” out of each *moneyTWELVE DOLLARS the producers receive on a DVDTWELVE CENTS! To SPLIT amongst the ENTIRE CAST! (Half of which goes to the stars!) Can you imagine the sinking feeling of the 250 cast members of “The Titantic” when they got that first DVD residual check? Mr. Cromwell’s pathetic rationalizing in the above paragraph boils down to this-The CAKE is getting bigger! Therefore so are our CRUMBS! Oh, and that $100 million we made last year in DVD’s! If we got our fair share before they took EIGHTY PERCENT OFF THE TOP– it would have been *moneyA HALF-A-BILLION DOLLARS! And if we got our fair share, considering the unprecendented growth of the DVD market, we could bring in over a *moneyCOUPLE of BILLION dollars from DVD alone during this contract! With the insurgence of that kind of money into our PH, we might be able to get rid of that fifty dollar a month copayment!

As an actor who has been fortunate to have a career in film and television, do I want more residuals? Sure. Am I willing to reject these historic gains – gains that include progress on residuals in other areas, health coverage for choreographers, extra rest time for stunt coordinators, more hazard pay for dancers – because I only get a 9 percent annual increase on my DVD residuals? Not a chance. Because if we reject this deal and are forced to return to the bargaining table only to find all our gains off the table, it would hurt all actors.

Poor, Jamie just can’t get his figures straight! One more time: Our percentage share on DVD has remained the same for almost 25 years! Well, he is only our Secretary/Treasurer! Oh, by the way, on the subject of percentages, the reason we’ll only get 2.25% instead of a full 3% on those first year minimums is because producers demanded the lower 2.25% percentage, worth about $7 million to them, to offset the $10 million dollar gain that Melissa is toting that background performers will receive! (Knowing the leadership’s propensity to fudge the figures what do you want to bet that those “gains” are only worth about, ah, say $7 million dollars?) Yep! The so-called biggest gains in the last thirteen years for background folks ain’t exactly all coming out of the producer’s pockets. It’s being subsidized by the membership as a whole! And why not! Background members, unlike new series regulars, account for a lot of votes! Have you noticed that the only time background performers appear on the radar of those currently in power is when they want to take away their voteor get it? Oh, and another sad thing! Mr. Cromwell, Melissa and their fellow Restore Respect members have such a low opinion of our worth as performers that they only assume that by returning to the bargaining table, we will get a worse deal! It would never occur to them, Five Months before our current contract expires, that we might get a BETTER DEAL! Oh, by the way, did you notice that Jamie said, ah, PROGRESS in residuals NOT INCREASES in residuals? Well, now if you take that to mean more money for SAG members, which it don’t, well, I betcha’ that’s Okey-Dokey with our esteemed Secretary/Treasurer!

I’m proud to serve the members of this Guild as secretary-treasurer, the second highest elected position in our union. This contract is good for all performers. What actors gained in an anti-union environment is nothing short of extraordinary. I urge you to join with the following Hollywood members to VOTE YES.
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If you needed to know anymore about whether this is a good deal or not! You only need to check out the discrepancy on the ballot! The disingenuous method in which information meetings are being scheduled– and a contradiction in President Melissa Gilbert’s message to the membership! (Oh, by the way in her message to the membership she called it a $200 million dollar deal! These folks really should get a calculator– or get their talking points straight!)

Perhaps Jamie can send out another email at OUR expense explaining why, if this is such a good deal, CEO Bob and Melissa have arranged Information Meetings up to TEN DAYS after the ballots have been sent out! Especially when they have the research that tells them that most members vote in the first FIVE DAYS after receiving their ballots!

Our Hollywood Informational Meeting is scheduled for February the 17th. Yet at the bottom of my ballot material that arrived February the 10th, it states, “Be sure to vote immediately” Huh? But wait Melissa, in her message to the membership, says “Informational meetings will be held across the country so you can ask questions before you vote!” Huh?

Now, this may seem like a radical, dissident idea, but if as Melissa Gilbert and John Connolly proclaimed in the press, that they want the membership informed, ah, why didn’t they have the informational meetings within the 5 day time frame during which their own research concludes that most members vote! Or better yet, in line with their proclamation that they were “in support of full discolsure and democractic debate ” why not hold true debates BEFORE the ballots go out! There could be handouts, a factual slide show sans hyperbole, followed by viewpoints from both proponents and opponents!

Alright, alright, I know Mike; I’m just another one of those craven misanthropes!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

Formatting is SW’s!

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