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Here are the SAG election results for the Hollywood Division. And they’re neck and neck

April 19, 2008 (19:07) | 2008, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller


Here are your Hollywood election results, you’ll notice Membership First got 5 National board seats, as did UFS. Morgan Fairchild got the other seat, which of course, is the same as UFS getting a board seat as she will vote with them and most likely the USAN New York and Branch slate.

Buckle your seats it could be a bumpy year!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !



Watchdog Exclusive: Results Of SAG’s Postcard Poll to SAG’s Membership shows that they overwhelmingly REJECT AMPTP “Final” Offer!

April 19, 2008 (19:07) | 2008, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller


The SAG Watchdog has learned that the SAG membership responding to SAG’s request for their feedback on the AMPTP “final” offer has overwhelming directed SAG’s negotiating team to reject it and return to the bargaining table.

Of the over 10,000 responses, 87 percent voted against accepting basically what was the same deal that AFTRA agreed to. You remember in the AFTRA Exhibit “A” referendum only 62 percent voted in favor of the deal, and that deal was not only voted on by actors, but broadcasters who were solicited by AFTRA to vote “Yes” even if they had NEVER worked the contract.

This poll is the first clear indication of how actors feel about the producers proposals, and certainly indicates with an 87% rejection of the those proposals that the naysayers are wrong and SAG could get a 75% strike authorization, especially if the AMPTP refuses to return to the bargaining table, or eliminate some of their more onerous proposals.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !


Here are the press releases from SAG and the AMPTP.

Los Angeles, September 17, 2008 – The Screen Actors Guild National Negotiating Committee met today and was given the results of the SAG mail-in poll by National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, Doug Allen.

87.27% of the 10,298 SAG members who responded to the poll said the union should continue bargaining in an effort to achieve a fair contract. 12.73% of those who responded said they would accept the terms presented in the AMPTP’s June 30th offer to SAG.

Postcards were mailed to 103,630 paid-up SAG members on August 28 with a return deadline of September 15, with a 9.94% return. Postcard return statistics matched almost exactly the geographic distribution of SAG members, with 56.07% of the responses from Hollywood, 20.83% from NY, and 23.10% from regional branch members.

The results of the poll indicate that members agree with the actions passed by SAG’s national board in July and August:

July 26, 2008: “It is a core principle of Screen Actors Guild That no non-union work shall be authorized to be done under any SAG agreement and; That all work done under a Screen Actors Guild contract, regardless of budget level, shall receive fair compensation when reused.”

August 21, 2008 “To support the negotiating team to get the very best contract possible for our membership.”

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg stated, “I am encouraged to see that members-at-large agree with the strategy of the national board and their national negotiating committee. This membership poll provides clear insight and direction concerning how actors feel about their futures. Clearly they expect Screen Actors Guild to protect them from exploitation in new media, and to preserve longstanding principles and contract provisions.”

National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen commented, “Our objective was to take the pulse of our members and I am pleased that the response reflects the resolve we have seen from SAG members around the country throughout this negotiating process. The AMPTP suggested we send their June 30 offer to our members to ratify. These poll results indicate that was wishful thinking on their part. We will now urge the AMPTP to roll up their sleeves and to put in the hard work required to bargain a fair, equitable agreement as soon as possible.”

Here is the AMPTP response. The one you’ll will hear echoed by SAG’s AFTRA/AMPTP First contingent on their Baghead Blog SAGWatch (On the Rhine)–and from AMPTP media blog sycophants, who jumped on the AMPTP band wagon parroting their words by referring to the postcard poll as a push poll.

I love the part about materials accompaning the postcard as being one-sided. Hey, gang if you want to hear both sides fairly presented go to the AMPTP website, right Nick ?

Butt, butt, butt…


September 17, 2008 — The mass postcard mailing by SAG negotiators was a farce. The questions were devised to give SAG negotiators only the answer they wanted to hear.

The materials accompanying the postcard were hopelessly one-sided. SAG member votes were recorded by name, exposing those who opposed SAG negotiators to possible retribution. And some SAG members reportedly received multiple ballots.

In short, this mass postcard mailing was another exercise in futility by SAG’s negotiators, and the results are meaningless. We have made a fair offer, with significant gains in salary and new media. That offer remains on the table, for the time being, despite steadily deteriorating economic conditions. In the meantime, we and all of the other industry guilds have gone back to work, and SAG members continue to miss out on the benefits of a new contract.



How your National Board Voted on accepting the AMPTP deal, letting members have a voice in negotiations, and supporting SAG’s negotiators

April 19, 2008 (19:07) | 2008, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller


One of the primary tenets of democracy is the right of constituents to know how their elected officials vote on issues that, not only, affect their well being, but their very survival.

In that spirit of democracy, The Ol’ Dog figured you have a right to know how your elected SAG board members voted on issues that may very well determine your future as SAG members. and the very survival of the great Screen Actors Guild.

Before showing you how your elected officials voted on imperative issues regarding SAG’s Negotiations, I would first like to post a resolution made by the USAN New York dominated board.


The NY Division Board of the Screen Actors Guild issued the following resolution today:

Every day the members of Screen Actors Guild are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unrealized wage increases while working under an expired TV/Theatrical contract. Every day our pension and health plans are losing the additional contributions these wage increases would supply. We hear from National Executive Director Doug Allen that, “Discussions through alternative channels are ongoing,” and from President Alan Rosenberg that, “We’re doing a phenomenal job!” But nothing is happening and we are no closer to a deal than we were six weeks ago.

In failing to bargain realistically with the AMPTP and remove unattainable items from the table, our negotiating team, controlled by the current Hollywood leadership, has pursued an agenda that has more to do with politics than with securing a beneficial contract and has betrayed the trust of the membership. It seems, as industry press has reported, that they intend to simply sit still until the upcoming elections are concluded, rather than make the “unpopular” moves necessary to make a deal. In short, the willful inaction of our negotiators is costing our members money, every day.

The New York members of the National Board of Screen Actors Guild insist that our negotiators signal to the AMPTP SAG’s willingness to bargain in good faith and remove any impediments to the achievement of a deal. If there is no clear and obvious movement forward in the negotiating process by August 25th, we demand that our negotiators request a federal mediator be brought in to facilitate the negotiating process and finally get our members a contract. Our members are losing over $1.7 million every week that we continue to work under the expired TV/Theatrical agreement. This must not continue.

NY President and second National Vice-President, Sam Freed, also issued the following comment: “All of us in NY, Hollywood and across the country should be concerned about how this failure to reach an agreement is impacting our members. They have already suffered significantly as a result of the WGA strike, and now they are experiencing an additional loss of work, made worse when they can find a job, by having to work without a contract under old terms and conditions. There are some who feel we have all the time in the world to make this deal. We on the NY Board do not.”

Okay, now let’s see how these stalwart USAN NY board members voted on three motions in the SAG Board Room where they were not quite so demanding as they were in their PUBLIC pronouncements concerning making a deal with the AMPTP. In fact THEY abstained!

You’ll, also, notice that on the second motion on whether to let SAG members be allowed a voice in negotiations, THEY VOTED NO! You see, they were afraid that members views might not coincide with the AFTRA deal that THEY championed.

And finally, although they later went public criticizing our negotiators when it came to voting in private they voted to support them.

From reading the above, one might get the idea that those New York USAN members weren’t exactly being upfront with the membership. Especially, if you consider the discrepancy between their votes in the board room and their public pronouncements.

In fact, in light of all their PUBLIC pronouncements, one might even get the idea that they do not have Screen Actors’ Guild members best interest at heart.

Hell, one might even get the idea that they are AFTRA First members in SAG clothing.

Statement from New York members of the SAG Board

The New York members of the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors unanimously disavow the decision of SAG’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to mount a campaign to persuade AFTRA/SAG dual-card holders to vote “no” on the AFTRA Primetime TV Contract.

This unprecedented action should only have been considered by the full National Board of Directors, which is charged with the responsibility of setting policy for the Guild.

We are amazed that the National Executive Director and the President chose, instead, to bring this proposal to the much smaller and less representative NEC, over the objections of nearly half of the NEC members present.

There was absolutely no reason that a full Board meeting could not have been called. More importantly, the NY Board opposes this unconscionable attempt to interfere with the internal business of a sister union because it has no strategic value for our negotiations, because it will waste $150,000 of the members’ dues money, because it may result in costly legal battles for the Guild and because it will forever tarnish our image as a union.

We feel strongly that AFTRA members have the right to decide for themselves whether this contract is acceptable, without interference from any outside organization, and we believe it is imperative that SAG leadership focus on our on-going negotiations with the AMPTP and not divert any more time, energy or dues money to attacking a union upon which 45,000 of its own members depend.

Today, Wednesday September 17th, we should know how members responded on whether to accept the AMPTP deal or not. The Ol’ Dog believes THAT if they actually read the information concerning the AMPTP’s proposals, they will overwhelmingly reject them, and support our Hollywood negotiators–who are trying to get a fair deal for actors.

In the meantime, it seems apparent that our SAG Hollywood negotiators will have their hands full trying to battle not only the AFTRA First USAN contingent on our negotiating team, but.also, the AMPTP.

Perhaps, it’s time for our SAG membership in New York and the branches, who want to make a living as actors, to tell those NY SAG negotiators, who have deleveraged our Hollywood negotiations with their PUBLIC statements empowering our employers, to shut the * up!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

All formatting is the SAG Watchdogs



AFTRAGATE: Is AFTRA hoodwinking members into getting their personal information and breaching their confidentiality?

April 19, 2008 (19:07) | 2008, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller

When SAG reached out to the membership for their feedback on producers’ proposals, they included not only both sides’ proposals, but the following postcard asking members if SAG should continue to negotiate or accept the producers “final offer.”

Well, you should have heard the outrage from the UFS slate and their AFTRA First supporters. Ah, not because of producers’ proposals that would basically gut members rights from force Majeure, consent on clips, move over, French Hours, and the core principle of the guild, denying signatories the right to produce non-union projects. No the outrage was over the two lines at the bottom of the card that members were to return to the guild.

Oh, the shock! Oh, the humanity! You would have thought that the fact that SAG had an identifiable barcode on the response card, spelled the doom of SAG. In fact, one of the multitudes of anonymous posters on one of the various Blogs actually proclaimed, “SAG would be Forever Doomed”

Forget the intent of reaching out to the membership for their feedback, forget the proposals that could affect the destiny of our union, forget debating the very serious issues at stake. (You think maybe that was the idea of those protesting?) *

Yes, forget all that! What was important here, was what one Blog writer suggested, rather facetiously, that a switchboard operator might get hold of the damning information. Shocking! I can just imagine that call in the middle of the night, “Yeah, Miller, we know how you marked your postcard, give us your last residual check or we’re going to give that info to Horwitch, Handel, and Diamond!” (All who had expressed great concern over the barcode.)

Well, of course, I wouldn’t have to worry about Diamond because his Blog had folded, most likely, because of lack of interest, but, but, the other two I mean what could I do, I’d have to give the caller the 38 cents.

But, I digress. This was of such importance that UFS’ Ned Vaughn, Kate Walsh and Adam Arkin felt compelled to merge and dash off a letter to SAG NED Doug Allen, and President Alan Rosenberg expressing their many concerns.

One of those concerns, “How will information about individual members’ votes be utilized?” came to mind when I received the following email from AFTRA.

Knowing AFTRA’s tendency to poach, I was immediately suspicious that maybe they were going to somehow poach my response to the guild without using a barcode, but, but nevertheless I proceeded.

Ned, Kate and Adams words reverberated in my head, “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized.?”

Yeah, what if I answered #Question One truthfully, and my information was sold to telemarketers or spammers? I could just imagine the call:

“Hi, my name is Jane, and I’ve got great news for “Old Timers” like you, about an exciting new breakthrough in denture cream”

No, I wouldn’t be answering that first one, nor the second one either. That switchboard operator might get confused and think that I had attended a Membership (First) meeting, and I’d be getting nasty calls from Sally Field and Tom Hanks.

Hmmm, better not answer “AFTRA Magazine,” or I could be getting more mail from the AARP about subscribing to their magazine, but, but, on the other hand, maybe I would get a call from Jamie Lee Curtis.

Hmmm, better not answer #Number Six’s Question by saying that negotiating for higher wages is ” Not important” or they’ll be bugging me to be on their next negotiating team. Man, look at all those questions. Hell, SAG only wanted to know if I wanted to continue negotiating or take the deal. If I answer all these questions, these guys will know how to push all my buttons. Yeah, they’ll have all my information. They got my name. They got my email address and with the answer to these questions, hell, they could formulate personal emails that would appeal to just about any member. “Dear Arlin, we see by your personal chart that you are a hard ass when it comes to negotiations. Therefore, we are pleased to tell you that this new contract offers higher wages while monitoring safety in the work place and increasing opportunities to get health and retirement benefits along with new job opportunities.”

Whoa! Look out for Question NUMBER SEVEN. Talk about a “Push Poll.” You get the idea, folks? There are only two choices at AFTRA– having more access for job opportunities, or having less opportunities but more pay.

Not, only that, but if you answer that question , they’ll know who you voted for in the last AFTRA election. You check the first box and they’ll know you voted for the current “go-along to-get-along” leadership. You check the second one, and they’ll know you voted for the opposing slate that actually wanted AFTRA to stop low-balling contracts and giving away residuals. Yikes! Talk about Big Brother Watching!

Ah, I know the answer to number #10, Ron Morgan. I remember that I was at an AFTRA membership meeting and I asked him why certain AFTRA members were allowed to work on non-union shows like “Best Damn Sports Show,” although the back of the AFTRA card clearly stated that members should NOT work for non signatory producers?

He just shrugged his shoulders.

So, now they’re getting your membership category and branch.

Okay, I’m gonna be honest with you, folks. Even though I wrote in their comment box, I ain’t sending this thing back, no way.

Okay, again. You’ll notice the disclaimer at the bottom of this thing, is lot like the disclaimer on the SAG postcard.

SAG says “The confidentiality of your response will be maintained.

AFTRA says, “The results of this survey will not be made public!”

The only difference here is that the only thing SAG learned about you with their poll is whether you wanted to go back and get a better deal, or not.

On the AFTRA poll, they learned all kinds of things about you. They learned whether you were a go-along-to-get-alonger or a hard ass, how you voted, your membership category, what branch your in., how long you have been a member, how to influence you in a referendum should they chose to do so–among other things.

About the only thing they didn’t ask was what your favorite color was and, if, you liked to take long walks on the beach.

Once again, Ned, Kate and Adams words reverberate “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized.?”

In light of all of the above, can we have an AFTRAGATE a brewing?

I mean, being how upset Ned and the UFS slate got over the SAG Postcard with one question, can you imagine how outraged they will be over AFTRA’s dossier of questions.

Why, I bet by tomorrow, they’ll be shooting off a letter to Kim and Roberta, emailing our media Blog Masters; Jonathan and Laurenah, Steve ain’t Blogging no more. They’ll have their core of Bagheads hitting the Blogs posting their outrage at AFTRA’s invasion of members privacy, they’ll.ah, wait a minute, come to think of it, when AFTRA violated their Qualified Voting code by soliciting broadcasters who had never worked the Exhibit A Contract, they never said a damn thing, ah.


A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

Speaking of barcodes. It’s post time! *toast



Watchdog Exclusive: An ALERT Your Pension & Health Benefits will be in jeopardy if the AMPTP current proposals are accepted.

April 19, 2008 (19:07) | 2008, SAG Politics | By: Arlin Miller


If you care about keeping your current coverage, or someday gaining coverage read this warning from former SAG President Ed Asner and other concerned members. This letter puts numbers to the concerns expressed in our previous post by Dave Clennon, one of the signers of this alert.

The SAG Watchdog received this ALERT from former SAG President Ed Asner, and three other concerned SAG members. If you care about your Pension and Health Benefits read it closely.

For your voice to be counted, your postcard must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on Monday, September 15th.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !