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This was sent to the Ol’ Watchdog!

December 19, 2011 (13:43) | 2011 | By: Arlin Miller

 Protect your SAG Pension and Health Plan… Read, Understand, Sign.


We are demanding SAG PPHP Trustees to fully investigate the troubling allegations that have recently come to light against current and former executive officers of the Plans as reported by the LA Times.  Immediate action is necessary. To make sure your voice is heard include your SAG membership # in the comment box.

That’s why I signed a petition to Screen Actors Guild -PPHP Board of Trustees, which says:

“December 11, 2011
The Board of Trustees
PO Box 7830
Burbank, Ca. 91510-7830

Dear Board of Trustees of SAG – PPHP

We come to you as deeply concerned SAG members with a vested interest in our Health and Pension Plans. We want you to know that just because we have been sitting on the sidelines, it doesn’t mean we have not been paying attention.

Superficial Investigation

First, in just the last two months, it has come to our attention that an “independent investigator,” attorney Nancy Solomon, was hired by the Plans to investigate unlawful activity by Mr. Bruce Dow, CEO of SAG-PPHP. These alleged wrong doings were cited by former Executive Director of HR/Payroll at SAG-PPHP, Mr.Craig E.Simmons.

We put the term “independent investigator” in quotes because we have concerns about just how independent Ms. Solomon’s investigation was. 

It is our understanding that Ms. Solomon is not only a friend of Mr. David White (SAG National Executive Director) but also a past associate of Mr. White’s at the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers LLP.  Due to these close associations, we have serious concerns that Ms. Solomon’s objectivity and due diligence may have been compromised, resulting in the cherry-picking of certain people to interview while overlooking others who may not have been as supportive of Mr. Dow.

Ms. Solomon presented her report to the Trustees. We have been informed that her findings confirmed some of Mr. Simmons’ allegations. Likewise we’ve been told the report made several recommendations, including that Mr. Dow and his wife, Mrs. Sharman Dow, pay back some tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized moving expenses.

Merely returning the money is not sufficient to right this wrong. At what threshold of wrongdoing is punitive action taken?

We strongly feel that someone who had no relationship whatsoever with any of the players involved in this case should have been hired to conduct this investigation.

Second, in a complaint filed with SAG-PPHP on August 23, 2011, and reported in the business section of the Los Angeles Times on September 16,th 2011, Mr. Simmons alleges that Nader Karimi, who was Chief Information Officer with SAG-PPHP, was involved in a 5 to 10 million dollar embezzlement of the plans’ funds.

Read more »



The Really Listening And Providing Answers Tour!

December 5, 2011 (08:49) | 2011 | By: Arlin Miller

Did You Know that the 1983 Phase One Agreement between SAG and  AFTRA requires a Pension and Health feasibility study prior to a  merger vote BUT the current SAG/AFTRA leadership is refusing to do  one?

Did You Know the SAG and AFTRA boards COULD REFUSE to include  a  minority report in the upcoming merger referendum? A minority  report would list the negative impacts a merger could have on SAG  and it’s members.

Did You Know AFTRA’s President Roberta Reardon, for the past year,  has been receiving a monthly payment of $3,500 and will continue to  receive one until merger passes? These funds come from AFTRA  members’ pockets.

These are FACTS, not opinions… And there are many, many more!

Seasoned SAG members, with a strong understanding of merger issues, invite you to share your concerns, thoughts, suggestions and  questions regarding the upcoming SAG and AFTRA merger plan. We  guarantee you’ll receive honest answers and accurate information.  No sell-job. No spin.

When: December 15th, 2011
            7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Where: Avery Schreiber Theatre
             11050 Magnolia Blvd.
             North Hollywood, Ca 91606
             NoHo Arts District

Street meter parking. Limited Seating. First come, first seated.
Cash Donation at the door greatly appreciated.
Please be prepared to show your current SAG or AFTRA membership card.

Not A SAG/AFTRA sponsored event




SAG, AFTRA set Dec. meet on merger

December 3, 2011 (23:09) | 2011 | By: Arlin Miller

SAG, AFTRA set Dec. meet on merger

Groups to hash out final proposal on consolidation

By Dave McNary

Leaders of Hollywood’s two biggest performer unions have set a key meeting for Dec. 11-12 to prep what could be a final proposal for merging the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

Spokespeople for SAG and AFTRA didn’t respond to a request for comment about the meeting, which would be the fourth formal confab of the Group for One Union — consisting of members from the SAG Merger Task Force and the AFTRA New Union Committee. The G1, with six workgroups, has since June been hammering out details such as a constitution, financing and dues with the target of presenting final proposals to the SAG and AFTRA boards in January.

Other than touting the meetings as productive, the unions have disclosed only general details about the substance of discussions.

Proponents have argued that a combined union would be more powerful and remove jurisdictional overlaps. Opponents have contended that the new union should be for actors only but SAG voters have been backing pro-merger candidates overwhelmingly in recent elections.

Should the proposal be approved by the national boards, members could be asked to OK the merger in a contest that would require 60% of those voting in each union to approve. SAG currently has about 120,000 members while AFTRA has about 70,000 with about 45,000 performers belonging to both unions.

SAG members turned down merger votes in 1999 and 2003.

Contact Dave McNary at dave.mcnary@variety.com




September 29, 2011 (08:46) | 2011 | By: Arlin Miller


When: 7-10 p.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where: James Cagney Board Room

Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90036

Parking will be validated

RSVPs will be accepted beginning 8 a.m., Wednesday, September 28.

The Hollywood Division Board will open its Wednesday, October 12, 2011 meeting to members-at-large for observation. This is part of the policy the Board passed that calls for all future meetings of the Board to be open, giving Hollywood Division members-at-large the opportunity to see their Hollywood Board at work.

Space is limited. Reservations are a must and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis (subject to stated requirements). All members who would like to attend must be in good-standing, affiliated with the Guild’s Hollywood Division and willing to comply with observation procedures. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

If interested, please RSVP after 8 a.m., Wednesday, September 28 via e-mail at hollywoodrsvp@sag.org or phone at (323) 549-6029. Please note, RSVPs left prior to this time will not be processed.

Be sure to include your professional name, SAG membership number and contact information.

Only accepted observers will be contacted with confirmation and details.

In order to allow everyone interested the opportunity to attend, members may only be confirmed for one meeting during the current board year (October 2011 through September 2012).

Please note: All bags larger than 14” in any dimension, (i.e. backpacks, suitcases, beach bags, etc.) will be prohibited from entry into the meeting.

If you should have questions or comments, please contact the Hollywood Executive Office at (323) 549-6459.

Insider Tip!  Check out the Local Member Benefits page on sag.org for exclusive SAG member deals and discounts. Current deals include discounted tickets to EEK! at The Greek, discounted products from Aveda, discounts at Peter & Son Watch Company and many more! Please visit www.sag.org/branches/hollywood/local-member-benefits  and visit often, as some deals may be offered on a moment’s notice.

Deals & Discounts are administered by entities independent of SAG. Questions about each offer must be handled by the providers. The Guild does not endorse any of these services. 



Howard and Aquino Re-Elected President, Secretary-Treasurer

September 26, 2011 (09:41) | 2011 | By: Arlin Miller


Howard and Aquino Re-Elected President, Secretary-Treasurer

September 22, 2011, 5:55pm

Screen Actors Guild Announces Results of National Board Elections

Howard and Aquino Re-Elected President, Secretary-Treasurer

Los Angeles (September 22, 2011) — Screen Actors Guild today announced the results of elections for its top two elected positions and National Board. Ken Howard has been re-elected for a second term as Screen Actors Guild president, and Amy Aquino will continue in her role as secretary-treasurer. Both will serve two-year terms, beginning September 25.

Ballots for the national officers election were mailed to 100,994 paid-up SAG members on August 23, and 23,459 were tabulated today, for a return of 23.23 percent. Howard received 17,492 votes, with David Hillberg getting 3,047 votes, Sharon Rubin receiving 1,681 votes and Asmar Muhammad receiving 855 votes. Aquino ran unopposed and received 20,399 votes.

“There’s nothing more important than members exercising their right to vote, and I’m very grateful for their continued support,” said Howard. “With so many pro-merger candidates elected again this year, there’s no doubt what members want, and I look forward to presenting a comprehensive plan to the SAG and AFTRA national boards in January.”

“Two years ago, SAG members definitively set the Guild on the road to merger, and this election confirms they want it more than ever,” Aquino said. “I’ll continue working to strengthen SAG’s operations and finances, and I’m honored to be able to help my fellow performers achieve the crucial goal of creating one union.”

A working actor for more than 40 years, Howard has an extensive resume that includes work on television, movies and the stage, including the upcoming Clint Eastwood biopic J. Edgar. An Emmy and Tony Award winner, he helped create and starred in The White Shadow from 1978 – 1982, and has had recurring roles on 30 Rock, Dynasty, Melrose Place and Crossing Jordan. He is the author of the book Act Natural, and serves as the chancellor of the National Kidney Foundation.

Aquino’s career in acting spans more than two decades. She has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including Moonstruck, Law & Order, Castle, Monk, ER, CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond just to name a few. She also has an extensive career in theater, and holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama.

Screen Actors Guild also announced election results for the National Board of Directors. Approximately one third of the 69 national board seats were open for election this year, representing Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood, New York and Regional Branch divisions.

Screen Actors Guild National Executive Director David White welcomed new members, as well as those who were re-elected.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to President Howard, Secretary-Treasurer Aquino and all of the new and returning members of the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors,” he said. “I look forward to working with the officers and board members during such an exciting period in the Guild’s life. We have a lot of terrific work ahead of us.”

SAG’s Hollywood Division elected 12 National Board members; the New York Division elected five National Board members; and seven National Board members were elected from the union’s branches in Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Nashville, Nevada and Washington-Baltimore.

National Board members elected from the Hollywood Division: Tony Shalhoub, Ken Howard, Adam Arkin, Amy Aquino, Stephen Collins, D.W. Moffett, Scott Bakula, Ned Vaughn, Mimi Cozzens, Arye Gross, L. Scott Caldwell (three-year terms) and Kate Flannery (one-year term).

The following were elected to serve as National Board alternates and to the Hollywood Division Board of Directors (one-year terms): Valerie Harper, Ellen Crawford, Esai Morales, Stacey Travis, John Carroll Lynch, Lisa Vidal, Christine Lakin, Michael O’Neill, Mandy Steckelberg, Tara Radcliffe, Michelle Allsopp, Bob Bergen, Assaf Cohen, Jon Huertas, Sarayu Rao, Allen Lulu, Woody Schultz, Donal Logue, Patrick Fabian, Iqbal Theba, Bertila Damas and Parvesh Cheena.

National Board members elected from the New York Division (three-year terms): Rebecca Damon, Lewis Black, Sam Robards, Ezra Knight and Jay Potter.

Additionally, New York Division members re-elected Mike Hodge for a two-year term as New York Division president. Hodge received 3,185 votes with Sam Robards receiving 2,276 votes.

The following were elected to serve as National Board alternates and to the New York Division Board of Directors (one-year terms): Traci Godfrey, Mark Blum, Marc Baron, John Rothman, Kevin Scullin, Dave Bachman, Matt Servitto, Phoebe Jonas and Manny Alfaro.

National Board members elected from the Regional Branch Division (three-year terms): Bill Mootos (Boston), Suzanne Burkhead (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Ed Kelly (Detroit), Robert Nelson (Houston), Cece DuBois (Nashville), Art Lynch (Nevada) and Stephen F. Schmidt (Washington-Baltimore).

Ballots for all eligible SAG members in Hollywood and New York were mailed on August 23 with a September 22 return deadline and were tabulated today by the independent election company Integrity Voting Systems. A total of 10,621 ballots were tabulated in the Hollywood Division (representing 19.37 percent of ballots mailed in the Hollywood Division) and 5,739 ballots were tabulated in the New York Division (representing 25.11 percent of ballots mailed in the New York Division). The number of ballots returned in the Regional Branch elections varied by region.