We’ll get to the BIG FAT LIE, but first
The SAG Press release ballyhoo’s the new contract as
Now is this a lie? Well, ahhhh, no! It is the most lucrative deal in SAG history. It is also a mediocre DEAL You see, when you build onto a 1.2 Billion contract, any gains, no matter how trivial, would make it the most lucrative deal in SAG history!
Pisano, could run out of the room waving A DOLLAR BILL joyously crying out, “I got it! I got it! I got you the most lucrative deal in SAG history! I got you a buck increase!” And technically he would be right! Not only that, but he probably would have gotten 17 votes on the spot!
Look, seriously,this deal, on its own, and under different circumstances could be, ah, okay. But if you put it in context with the booming multi-billion dollar DVD industry, along with a history of 25 years of an unfair split, it STINKS! And this doesn’t even take into consideration that we rushed to sign a deal that doesn’t expire until June 30th– without a single shred of proof, or assurances, that the producers have been paying us monies owed on their revenue sharing and stock “kickback” deals!
But the thing that is really insulting is the disingenuous way that our current leadership is representing this “go-along-to-get-along” deal to us. We are no longer brother and sister union members with a shared interest in this contract! We are consumers to be SOLD a product-and the product is the “most lucrative deal in SAG History!” And hey, if they have to twist the truth a tad to SELL us, NO BIGGIE! And that ain’t NO LIE!
The Hollywood Reporter (1/24/05) announces that the contract offers a “3% annual increase in minimums in each year” while the first page of the SAG press release announces a “9% across-the-board minimum pay raise over three years.”
Now one might get the idea from this that this “sweeping” contract includes a 3/3/3 or 9% across-the-board increase, right? Especially when you peruse on over to page two of the SAG press release where it says that there will be a ” 9% raise over three years 3% each year of the contract beginning on Oct. 1, 2005″
Now, the only tiny weenie problem here, is that back on page one of the press release, it says the tentative agreement would begin on July 1, 2005 and run through June 30 2008!
Huh? So the 3 percent pay raise doesn’t kick in until October 1st of 2005, or the forth month of the contract, “ah, ah, does that mean we’ll work the first THREE MONTHSof the contract WITH NO PAY RAISE IN MINIMUMS?” That’s Right!
“Ah, then that means, we’ll only be getting that THREE PERCENT increase for the last three quarters of the first year?” That’s Right!
“Let’s see, 75% of 3,ah…hey that means that the first year of the contact, the membership, in reality, only gets a 2.25 PERCENT increase in minimums!” That’s right!
“Why, why, Whipsaw and the current leadership TOLD US A BIG FAT LIE!” Now, you’re catching on!
So what we have here, folks, minus the Double Talk, is in reality NOT a 3/3/3 bump in minimums but a 2.25/3/3 bump.
Let’s see how that checks with contracts in recent SAG history.
INCREASES IN MINIMUMS:
1995-1998% – 3.5%: 3.5-3.5-3.5
Proposed contract: 2005-2008: 2.25/3/3
There you go! That most “lucrative” Deal in SAG History that Pisano, Melissa, Hessinger, Connelly and the Restore Respect gang are trying to sell us is not only premised on a BIG FAT LIE, but it contains the
WORST THREE YEAR INCREASES IN MINIMUMS IN RECENT SAG MEMORY!
Not only that but but the 2.25 percent is lower than the WORST ONE YEAR TV/theatrical minimum increase in recent SAG memory, which was the 2.5 percent of the Extension!
So, there you have it! And, it was all brought to you by Mr. “P” and Melissa Gilberts “go-along-to-get-along” Restore Respect pals in consolidation with their friends at AFTRA!
Pisano and gang keep telling us this is the same contract as the WGA and DGA got! My only responses is “would you buy a USED CONTRACT FROM THESE GUYS?”
A.L. Miller Editor & Chief