SAG-AFTRA Board Votes Overwhelmingly To Give Its Executive Committee Broad Powers Amid “National Emergency”
By David Robb Deadline March 24, 2020 5:24 pm
UPDATED with vote results, 7:10 PM: The SAG-AFTRA National Board has voted overwhelmingly to approve a resolution giving its 38-person executive committee the authority to take actions on behalf of the board during “this time of extraordinary national emergency,” the guild said tonight. The resolution passed with 93.73% voting yes against 6.27% no votes. More than 96% of the votes of the board were cast in the poll.
“This resolution reflects the determination of SAG-AFTRA’s elected leaders to protect its members quickly during this constantly evolving global crisis,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. The motion was presented to the board with the unanimous recommendation of Carteris, the National Officers and the Executive Committee.
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The motion states that “in light of the national emergency,” the board would delegate authority to the Executive Committee to consider and adopt the union’s budget for fiscal year 2021, and to consider, approve and submit to the members for ratification all multi-employer collective bargaining agreements – including those pertaining to the guild’s upcoming film and TV contract negotiations.
The resolution was recommended unanimously by the guild’s president, national officers and the Executive Committee, with the finance-related provisions also being recommended unanimously by the Finance Committee. Chaired by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, members of the Executive Committee include EVP Rebecca Damon, secretary-treasurer Camryn Manheim, seven national vice presidents and more than a dozen national board members.
Here is the National Board’s approved resolution on the COVID-19 emergency:
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, a national state of emergency due to coronavirus disease was declared by the United States Federal Government, and
WHEREAS, health authorities have recommended that no groups of more than ten individuals should meet until further notice, and
WHEREAS, several major U.S. cities and metro areas are now in “shelter in place” status, with all travel restricted and residents required to remain at home except for specified purposes, and
WHEREAS, many industry employers have suspended all production activities and ceased employment, resulting in economic consequences to SAG-AFTRA members; and
WHEREAS, government programs designed to address the economic crisis resulting from this disaster are only beginning to ramp up, and their ultimate success is as yet unknown; and
WHEREAS, access to most SAG-AFTRA offices is now suspended except for emergent or critical functions, and
WHEREAS, due to the constantly changing nature of this emergency and the need to address matters in real time, it is not feasible to conduct substantive discussions on complex and sensitive, confidential matters in the National Board by purely digital means, and
WHEREAS, service to the membership of SAG-AFTRA and the conduct of SAG-AFTRA business must continue despite the state of emergency, especially with respect to our core functions of negotiations, contract enforcement, organizing, and collection and distribution of payments to performers; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Art. IX(2)(a) of the SAG-AFTRA Constitution, the Executive Committee has “authority to act on matters that require attention in intervals between meetings of the National Board”; and
WHEREAS, it would be irresponsible not to take swift action to ensure that decision-making authority is in place to make prompt and timely decisions in this time of great and everchanging challenge; and
WHEREAS this resolution is recommended unanimously by the President, the National Officers, and the Executive Committee, and the finance-related provisions are also recommended unanimously by the Finance Committee;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Board of SAG-AFTRA as follows:
- The National Board acknowledges and reaffirms the Executive Committee’s Constitutional authority to act as necessary to address matters between meetings of the National Board and in light of these extraordinary circumstances; and
- Pursuant to its authority under Art. IV of the Constitution, the National Board authorizes the Executive Committee to establish a program for relief from dues, late payment charges, and other related matters. Authority is also hereby delegated to the Executive Committee to adopt special rules and procedures relating to the leniency process with respect to the termination of membership for non-payment of dues.
- The National Board hereby delegates authority to the Executive Committee to consider and adopt the union’s budget for fiscal year 2021 pursuant to its authority under Art. V(C)(2)(a) and V(C)(2)(u) of the Constitution; and
- The National Board hereby delegates authority to the Executive Committee to consider and approve and submit to the members for ratification multi-employer collective bargaining agreements (pursuant to Art. XI(B)(1)), to approve waivers and amendments (pursuant to Art. XI(C)), to appoint Wages and Working Conditions and Negotiating Committees (pursuant to Art. XI(A)(1)) and approve proposal packages (pursuant to Art. XI(A)(2), and to act with the delegated authority of the National Board for all purposes set forth in Art. XI; and
- In light of the national emergency, the National Board hereby delegates authority to the Executive Committee to take such other actions as may normally be under the exclusive authority of the National Board, pursuant to Art. V(C)(2)(u) of the Constitution; and
- The President and National Executive Director’s decision to postpone the April National Board meeting to a date to be determined is hereby ratified.
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