SAG Pension Plan Improves SAG Prez to chair negotiations committee The following is what your NEW WORLD AFTRA LEADERSHIP HAS IN STORE FOR ACTORS. (And A Group is forming to take back SAG’s jurisdiction.)
DGA to negotiate with AMPTP in November
Directors Guild to wait out SAG, AFTRA talks
SAG Pension Plan Improves Slightly, Now into “Yellow” Zone
Posted on April 25, 2010, 8:55 PM, by admin, under Media Business, SAG Politics.
Some people have gotten their notices already, but everyone should have them by Monday or Tuesday. It’s a government required annual notice about the funding level of the SAG Pension Plan, and it says that as of January 1, 2010, the plan had improved slightly, but is still in what’s called the “Yellow” zone.
Just 2 1/2 percentage points separate the plan from what’s become known as the “Green” zone. The current funding percentage of 77.49% is a 3/4 of one percent improvement from January 1, 2009.
Part of the improvement comes from the stock market rebounding. Part comes from a reduction in future accrual of benefits announced last September. And it’s worth remembering that even though the SAG plan, like most, took a big hit over the past two years, it did not decline nearly as much as the stock market did.
In the Yellow zone, no benefits are cut. What “Yellow” status mean is that the plan is below 80% funded, and that the Trustees have to develop a plan to improve the funding level over the next ten years. In the meantime there are some benefits that can not be improved. (We won’t try to get into the technicalities of the restrictions they’re very complex. But if you want to learn more, there are all sorts of resources you can turn to.)
Contributions to the pension plan were reported to be down 10% as of September but that was not attributed to the loss of pilots, according to the Trustees, and, if there were to be any, they wouldn’t be for some additional time period.
AFTRA’s plan is still in the Green zone, but largely because its Trustees had already cut accrual rates and were starting from a lower accrual rate than the SAG plan.
SAG prexy to chair negotiations committee
Move comes as group gears up for bargaining
By DAVE MCNARY
Screen Actors Guild president Ken Howard, who has used his tenure to repair relations with AFTRA, has been named to chair SAG’s negotiating committee, which is gearing up to bargain with the congloms over feature and primtime master contracts.
The appointment was not a surprise, given that the SAG board has opted for its last two presidents — Alan Rosenberg and Melissa Gilbert — to head the negotiating committees. Howard was elected last fall on a promise to pursue pragmatism and a merger with AFTRA.
He also was named national head of the guild’s wages and working conditions committee, which will begin meeting with members in June to hammer out a contract proposal. SAG’s Hollywood, New York and regional division leaders will name members to the “W and W” committee before June, with those reps subsequently becoming members of the negotiating committee.
The unanimous appointment of Howard by SAG’s national board of directors comes five and a half months before the start of negotiations and during a weekend meeting at its Hollywood headquarters that was notable for its lack of boardroom fireworks.
The relative lack of rancor at the weekend session contrasted sharply with board meetings in recent years — particularly during the last round of negotiations with the companies. The board’s self-styled moderates, who gained control in the fall of 2008, objected to the aggressive negotiating style of Rosenberg and then-national exec director Doug Allen. They subsequently fired Allen over the strident objections of the self-styled progressives in Membership First in Hollywood.
AFTRA split from SAG in early 2008 and negotiated its own primetime deal that was ratified by members nearly a year before SAG reached a similar deal with the companies. Since then, companies have opted to sign deals with AFTRA rather than SAG on new series shot on digital.
Plenty of animosity remains between the two rival SAG factions — most recently over the issue of how committee members are appointed. Earlier this year, the Hollywood division, where Membership First retains a narrow majority, approved new rules that allow elected reps to vote “cumulatively” for a single candidate for committee slots.
That move probably ensures that the Hollywood division will be repped on the negotiating committee by some of the moderate Unite for Strength members. Membership First attempted unsuccessfully to overturn that rule during last Wednesday’s rancorous Hollywood division meeting and may try again at upcoming division meetings.
SAG’s negotiations are set to start Oct. 1 with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. SAG’s bargaining jointly with AFTRA on the primetime, or Exhibit A deal. AFTRA’s already tapped treasurer Matt Kimbrough to head its negotiating committee.
SAG and AFTRA will each have 13 negotiating committee members. Rosenberg and Allen campaigned unsuccessfully in 2007 for AFTRA to have a reduced number of committee members, based on the amount of earnings each union generated. That move paved the way for AFTRA to ditch SAG and negotiate its own deal in 2008.
SAG’s national board also approved over the weekend a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, following a year of operating at a $4 million deficit with three dozen staff cuts.
“A NEW UNION FOR A NEW WORLD:
An Open Letter to AFTRA Members.
Now of all of these AFTRA officials advocating this new “one union fits all media” scheme, only one has any extensive (TV/Theatrical) acting credits and that is Matt Kimbrough. Ron Morgan has eight minor credits over 31 years, AFTRA President Roberta Reardon and Bob Edwards have NONE and Lainie Cooke has two looping credits from the Eighties.
Now if this ONE UNION FITS ALL propaganda sounds familiar, it was tried a few years ago by the AFL-CIO under a group they called the ICC.
I will not go into all the inconsitencies in this article as they are fairly obvious but this one in particular caught the Ol’ Dog’s eye,
“This means the unions core missions must be organizing more union work and raising the wages and working conditions in our contracts.”
This from the group who took over most of the cable shows by doing just the opposite, lowering wages and giving away actors residuals.
So, there you go. What SAG actors have to look forward to if these AFL-CIO/AMPTP sycophants get their way.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
There is a new group trying to do something about AFTRA’s raiding of SAG’s jurisdiction.
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