Also, SAG Interactive Caucus Tuesday (10/27/09) if you are a day-player and you care about your future earnings as an actor you should be there.
The following is one of my posts on the Showfax Bulletin board in response to a post by AFTRA San Francisco President Denny Delk.
The following comments made by Denny Delk, San Francisco AFTRA president are of such importance, I felt they deserved their own string. I think they reveal an arrogance and a distain for the AFTRA membership that is not limited to simply Mr. Delk but most of the leadership in AFTRA. Here are Mr. Delk’s comments and my responses.
Denny: Much of this discussion has gotten muddied, so as to bring the terms of the decision back into focus.
AFTRA held informational meetings around the country. Members who work the contract were invited. In SF, only members who work the contract participated, based on the information supplied by staff. San Francisco did not take a vote, since none was called for.
So, Denny, only members who work the contract participated in the meeting. Look, since you have information supplied by staff, you should have the exact number participating and their names. And why wasn’t a vote called for. Could it be that the turnout was so small that the leadership didn’t want to go on record. According to the AFTRA Constitution the majority vote at these caucuses would be the deciding factor in accepting this contract. And even if they had twenty showing in New York, it was obvious to them Hollywood would still have had the majority.
Denny: It was the charge of the elected representatives at the SF meeting to carry the comments and concerns back to the National Board. However, all those attending and all those I communicated with in San Francisco were in favor of the contract terms. I carried that word to the National Board.
Oh, please, Denny, the AFTRA constitution, makes no “Denny Delk exception.” In regards to these meetings on a collective bargaining agreement article X1V makes it clear the majority vote by the members in attendance will be the deciding factor. And even if the vote was not binding, it would have been a definitive reflection of their feelings on the contract, rather than your anecdotal reflections. Oh, by the way there is nothing in the constitution about those “you communicated with” having any say.
Denny: The New York representatives delivered a similar message from Manhattan actors who work the contract. We also heard the same from representatives from Seattle. These three markets do about 55% of the AFTRA work around the country
Denny, is a prime example of the total distain, he and his AFTRA cohorts have for the membership and their intelligence. Look, if those who wrote the AFTRA constitution had wanted the representatives to deliver messages as to the memberships’ feelings, they would have said so. But they did not, they dictated that it was the membership who should have their voices heard, and, not, as I said, in an anecdotal manner, but in an on the record vote.
You see, those who wrote AFTRA’s constitution realized that once leaders start to bypass the members, you form the foundation for a morally corrupt union, which is what AFTRA has become, working not for the membership but for the agenda of those in leadership positions on both the staff and board of directors.
Denny: LA members, who do about 40% of the work (dollarwise) under the AFTRA contract relayed a message that they were not supportive. That, too, was reported to the national board. The board overwhelmingly approved the contract terms and voted to send a confirming ballot to affected members (members who have worked interactive under an AFTRA contract in the past three years) as is called for in AFTRA’s rules.
Ah, not quite. First the board ratified the contract, completely ignoring the substantive evidence, and then an abrupt turnaround, had a revote to send the agreement out to the members in referendum. Someone obviously realized that they would have been in trouble with the Feds if they completely ignored the dictates of their own Constitution. But, you can bet that if the likes of AFTRA San Francisco President Denny Delk and his cohorts in NY, and the rest of the branches had their way, there would be NO vote, but rather Denny and his pals would ‘carry the word’ on the wishes of the membership to the leaderships’ desired conclusion.
Denny: These are the things I know first hand, or from reliable sources. Those folks who need documentary proof will have to be disappointed, since I have not required people I communicated with in person, via phone or via email to submit notarized affidavits. I find it slows down my day make my correspondents cranky.
Hey, come on folks, give Denny a break, do we really think union democracy is important enough to “slow down” Denny’s day.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
There has already been a SAG Caucus in New York in which those attending voted 27-0 to support the contract and in San Francisco 2-0. Many of those attending the New York meeting do not work this contract since anyone with a paid up membership was allowed to attend. There is also going to be a caucus in Hollywood where anyone with a paid up membership will be allowed to attend and vote.
Now, even if you haven’t worked the Interactive contract and you are a working actor you will definitely be affected since this contract defines what an actor will be paid by the NUMBER OF WORDS he or she delivers, you need to be there to have your voice be heard.
The contract stipulates that an actor will be obliged to deliver up to 20 voices of up to 299 words for a total of 5980 words and still be considered an ‘ambiance actor’ working for scale–and therefore, if this “deal” passes those working this contract will receive scale for TWENTY VOICES or around $800 hundred bucks instead of what they would receive under the dictates of the old contract, or about 3200 bucks.
Look, once employers realize we will accept such a cutback based on the number of words delivered, they will be like sharks smelling blood. You better believe it will next affect those who do animated voices and ADR, and will eventually affect on camera actorshell, it already does in AFTRA where they have an under five lines pay scale.
Once again, we have heard that New York USAN managed to get twenty seven of their people to vote for this rollback deal, and apparently San Francisco only got two actors to show up and vote for this contract.so, now the ball is in Hollywood’s court to show up and let their voices be heard.
This could be a resounding victory for working actors. If you want to be part of it, I know the Ol’ Dog does, show up and let your voice be heard. Here’s the when and where details.
If you think this contract will affect your future earning power as an actor, I hope to see you there.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief