If this sort of stuff is your cup of coffee, you’ll appreciate a closer look at Monday Nights Membership Meeting!

Jose ** **** » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:06 am The meeting was, the first 2 hours at least, quite interesting. Things are going forward, on schedule, as it were. A lot of people showed up -I’d say 85-90% of the chairs were used and quite a few of the sagactor crowd present. None followed Mattie’s wishes of asking “hard” questions to the table, but dear Millie presented her motion bent on getting Ned Vaughn stripped from the “executive” part of his title. She even got majority of votes, I’d say 2-1, even though among the “1” was Gabriele Carteris, from the table -something that significantly rattled Joliffe, also present-.

We were informed that both Pension and Retirement plans are “safe”, comfortably in the “green” zone with SAG’s funded at over 84% and AFTRA’s at 90.8%. And exceeding the required 7.5% investment yield to maintain current levels in the near future. Actually exceeding it handsomely, by almost 2 full % points in 2012 (SAG) and by half a point (AFTRA).

I asked a question about the SAG Health plan’s deficits, which as I have posted here an in other sites, looked quite somber to me -as guided by the generally available data AND the projections of the Trustees- and I got an unbelievable answer that made me quiote happy: Not only the plan did not have a deficit of $50 million in 2011, AS PROJECTED BY THE TRUSTEES, but it actually, as per Chris Dodwell (who, by the way, looked quite healthy and informed) ended the year more or less on par. How about 2012, I asked? Well, not only the leaking has been sealed, but it appears that there shoudl be a surplus… instead of the
deficit I had prognosticated -again based on the alarmist projection of the Trustees for 2011, and the continued increment of healthcare during the current byear- of another $70+ million. I was flabbergasted in my surprise, and, again, quite happy… although I still don’t understand how the Trustees could possibly had ventured such alarming, doomed projection in the first place, but since what counts is reality and FACTS, the wonderful reality is that SAG’s Health plan not only continues having nice reserves in excess of $140 million but is getting more money than it spends. Again, COOL.

Now, 84% of liabilities is “green” alright but far from ideal. I was relieved to hear that the paltry 9.4% yield for 2012 (so far) is due to measures to ensure that the Fund will be avoiding major losses in the future, such as the ones suffered in 2008 and beginning of 2009. It is an adequate price to pay for such “insurance” although the risk-taker in me would appreciate a much riskier (and wealthy, at least in 2012) environment. 9.4% exceeds the required 7.5% and should build a nice reserve for future years of less financial bonanza.

Other than that -and a painful reminder that while reciprocity is in the mind of everyone this side (the union side) of the trustees, officials and staff, but remains a difficult subject currently in phase of evaluation by subcommittees of both SAG and AFTRA, who will meet for the first time in January, to deal with its many complexities, including legal obligations-, I left when things started to look like they were getting a bit silly from parts of the audience. Things are looking good indeed in our Union.

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Although I bump heads with the above poster, I do think you deserve different takes on such matters.

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog