If you work in Commercials, or if you ever plan on working in Commercials, please read this letter: You are about to receive yet another ballot from Screen Actors Guild.
You will be urged to vote YES on the proposed Commercials Contract (which is set to expire October 30th.)
You will NOT be given a PRO-AND-CON statement, nor will you be informed that there are very good reasons to vote NO!
Once again, S.A.G.’s leadership has voted to deny S.A.G.’s membership a minority report, which would give you the point of view of those who are opposed to the approval of this contract.
Didn’t we all just go through this with the failed consolidation proposal?
Our leadership has learned nothing from the events of a few short months ago when their zeal to silence
any opposition led in part to the defeat of the proposed merger of S.A.G. and AFTRA.
During the Consolidation debate, you might remember that S.A.G.’s leaders explained their reasons for denying a minority report: they claimed that the opposition had not gotten 25% of the Board votes needed to trigger an automatic minority report.
This time 27% of S.A.G.’s Board voted against the proposed Commercials Contract, which should have guaranteed a minority report.
Although this exceeds the 25% that S.A.G. leaders say is necessary for a minority report, your elected leaders have once again found away to make sure you don’t get this information.
In order to “win at all costs”, S.A.G.’s leaders have included the votes of AFTRA Board members in order to reduce the NO votes to only 19%.
In other words, AFTRA has been given a say as to how S.A.G.’s Board members can and cannot communicate with S.A.G. members!
At best this is political trickery At worst it is a deliberate attempt to bypass the will of the membership to get a quick YES vote and lock you into a contract for the next three years that could seriously impede your ability to make a living in commercials.
Last month you elected 25 of the 33 Membership First candidates who ran for the S.A.G. Board. Here is why they voted NO on this poorly negotiated contract:
*THERE IS NO MENTION OF COMMERCIALS MONITORING IN THE AGREEMENT. Over the next three years, potentially tens of millions of dollars in unreported residuals could have been going into your pockets and into the S.A.G. Pension and Health Fund. That’s money YOU have a right to, because it’s money that YOU earned but S.A.G.’s negotiators did nothing to guarantee that you will ever see any of it.
*AD SPENDING WILL EXCEED 30 BILLION DOLLARS this season but cable residuals were increased by only 5%. Divided by the three years of the contract, that’s less than 1.67% per YEAR ! *This translates into a maximum raise of $121. Actors who appear on cable commercials will continue to be victimized by overexposure (which prevents you from getting further work) and for this you will be compensated about a hundred bucks and there will be no raise for another three years!
*There is still time to do something about this.
Your NO vote will send this ill-conceived agreement back to the negotiating table.
Your NO vote will also send a powerful message to our union leadership:
WE THE MEMBERS WANT ALL THE INFORMATION BEFORE WE ARE ASKED TO VOTE!
Formatting of this message is SAG Watchdog’s.
*The ballot insterted by SAG Watchdog is an actual ballot. However it has been cropped in order to prevent disgruntled members–who are having a hard time making a living with the inadequate cable rates –from duplicating it and mailing it in to SAG in a desperate attempt to get a decent contract!