Before sharing with you a few special tidbits from the Ol’ Watchdog and a journey into the Boyd, let’s see what the professional reporters have to say about the weekend SAG Plenary.
SAG standing tough
More militant side wins vote over talks
By DAVE MCNARY
Despite a bitter split in its leadership, the Screen Actors Guild is moving toward a tougher stance at upcoming contract negotiations.
The move — which took place at a contentious SAG board meeting Saturday — comes with companies increasingly concerned about a possible work stoppage by actors in July 2008, when the film-TV contract expires.
SAG and AFTRA jointly negotiate that contract, and SAG had not made any progress in persuading AFTRA to allocate more seats at the bargaining table to SAG, based on the notion that guild members generate the lion’s share of work. The idea had been opposed not just by AFTRA but by SAG moderates out of concerns that those in power at the guild tend to espouse a far more aggressive stance than AFTRA’s.
Hollywood reps won Saturday’s vote, which brought into sharp focus the ongoing internal split on the national board between Southern California leaders on the one side and their counterparts from New York and the regional branches on the other. The revamp changes how votes are counted within the guild’s negotiating committee, with the winning side allocated all the SAG votes in any split vote among the guild reps on the panel.
Under the new plan, Hollywood reps will have more clout in determining the direction of SAG’s negotiating positions — and presumably take a harder line than AFTRA reps. SAG executive director of communications Pamela Greenwalt would not confirm any details, noting the board had decreed the entire session confidential.
SAG hasn’t yet named its negotiating committee. It will hold elections in September; that contest will probably leave Hollywood’s Membership First faction with a narrow majority in the board room.
Saturday’s meeting also included a staff presentation on AFTRA signing new TV shows, including “Army Wives,” at lower rates than SAG.
SAG’s leaders also voted Saturday for compromise rather than war with AFTRA by reaffirming the 1981 “Phase One” agreement, under which the unions agree to joint negotiations of contracts in which both have jurisdiction. Some at SAG had been pushing to opt out of Phase One, but doing so might have created significant uncertainty for the upcoming contract talks.
SAG exec director Doug Allen told AFTRA earlier this year that the two unions needed to work out a better system of determining which union covers what, particularly in areas of shared jurisdiction such as TV shows shot on digital. Some SAG leaders have been angered over AFTRA agreements for lower-cost provisions such as free reruns on cable shows; AFTRA’s contention is that it should make these deals with cable networks to avoid producers going non-union.
Tensions have been running high between SAG and AFTRA on several other fronts. AFTRA recently announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which hasn’t been shy about criticizing SAG policies in the past.
Several members of SAG’s Membership First faction — which took control of the guild’s board two years ago — ran for elected slots on the AFTRA national board during the spring, the Los Angeles board and as delegates to the national convention. Their beef focused on provisions for free reruns (dubbed “exhibition days”) on 30 cable shows covered by AFTRA such as “Dirt,” “Zoey 101,” “Hannah Montana” and “The Sarah Silverman Show.”
SAG has about 100,000 dues-current members while AFTRA’s total is about 70,000. About 40,000 performers belong to both unions.
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SAG reaffirms ‘Phase One’ with AFTRA
By Carl DiOrio
July 30, 2007
SAG won’t let its hard feelings toward AFTRA derail labor solidarity in upcoming contract talks.That’s the upshot of a daylong board meeting Saturday at SAG headquarters in Los Angeles — though like most Hollywood labor matters, the matter is a bit more complicated than that.SAG used a videoconference connection to New York to loop in East Coast directors, as the guild’s national board hashed out what to do about what disgruntled members have dubbed “the AFTRA problem.”Many actors hold memberships in both unions, but some in SAG see AFTRA as a jurisdictional interloper, too often signing up TV productions they believe should be SAG shows.
Another oft-repeated gripe alleges that AFTRA tends to settle for lesser contract terms than SAG.The anti-AFTRA faction had become so vocal leading up to the SAG board meeting that speculation arose about whether the board might decide it was time to kill SAG’s decades-old “Phase One” agreement with its sister performer union.
The Phase One agreement stipulates that SAG and AFTRA will split 50-50 seats on any film-and-TV negotiating committee, such as one slated to sit down with studio reps in the spring.SAG’s current main film and TV pact expires June 30. (The DGA’s current film and TV pact also expires June 30, making the date an especially crucial one on the labor-management calendar.)
A knowledgeable source described the SAG board meeting as “contentious.” But well-placed sources said the board eventually passed a resolution affirming that the Phase One agreement will remain in effect, at least through the upcoming film and TV negotiations.”Something still could happen — you know SAG — but that’s the situation right now,” the source said.Now here’s the catch: The final, amended wording of the resolution stated a desire to tinker with how Phase One is implemented during negotiations.
Specifically, SAG may try to implement so-called bloc voting on the negotiating committee, sources said. Representation still would be apportioned 50-50, but SAG votes would automatically be counted as a unanimous bloc in favor of whatever position is carried by a majority of SAG reps on the committee.”
So if, say, eight SAG committee members want to vote for a position and two are against, through bloc-voting all 10 votes would count as being for the position,” a labor community insider explained.
A SAG spokeswoman declined comment on the meeting, noting the board voted to keep its actions at the meeting confidential.AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon released a statement Sunday applauding SAG’s Phase One affirmation, while indicating that the precise wording of the resolution will bear further scrutiny.”AFTRA is pleased to hear that SAG National Board has stated that it affirms all the principles of Phase One,”
Reardon said. “We look forward to learning in more detail whether the specifics of that affirmation are in fact consistent with the Phase One agreement. While we each have our separate but identical contracts with our employers, we believe it is imperative that AFTRA and SAG come together as one community of professional performers, whenever possible.
“Phase One cooperation has meant “strong wages, benefits and working conditions for all professional performers — no matter to what union they belonged,” she said.Reardon noted that AFTRA members recently affirmed support for joint negotiations at the union’s national convention in Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, the WGA — with whom SAG leaders recently have formed a warm relationship, even as relations with AFTRA have chilled — already is engaged in negotiations for a new film and TV contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.
SAG has formed an advisory committee to work with the WGA during those talks, which seek to replace a WGA pact set to expire Oct. 31.There was scant evidence of any early negotiating traction in two bargaining sessions held before talks broke off temporarily. The AMPTP told the WGA it first has to wrap up contract talks with the Teamsters before meeting further on the writers pact (HR 7/23).Negotiators from the AMPTP and WGA aren’t expected to re-engage until sometime next week, at the soonest.
Well, like the Ol’ Dog has said all along, the idea that under the leadership of President Rosenberg SAG has attained peace in our time was blown out of the waters at Saturday’s Plenary after the introduction of a resolution by a USAN board member, which eventually passed, that basically pledged to honor The Phase One Agreement and allow AFTRA to have a fifty-fifty say in our 2008 TV/Theatrical Contracts–even though they only have around a ten percent stake in them.
After an afternoon of shall we say less than cordial debate, it was not only apparent that there is still a great Continental Divide between Hollywood and New York–but that New York and the branches are basically AFTRA loyalist in SAG clothing that vote in complete Bloc step. Hopefully President Rosenberg’s eyes have been opened a tad after his spirited exchange with his East Coast pals. (If President Rosenberg wants to know how the USAN leadership really feels about him, he should go to their website and click on the link to the SAG Firebird. I don’t know about you, but if it were me, and those claiming to be my friends linked up to a website that talked about my “fascist” actions, I, I, might reevaluate that relationship.
Oh, by the way after some fierce fine-tuning the resolution finally passed. With those who proposed it voting against it. More on that later.
What don’t make a lot of sense is why most of this was done under The Cloak of Confidentiality. Confidential from whom? Let’s face it, since so many of the New York USAN contingent, who proposed the resolution, are also AFTRA board members, it surely is not a secret that will be kept from AFTRA, i.e., AFTRA President Roberta Reardon has already issued a statement concerning this CONFIDENTIAL Resolution.
So, what does all of this mean to our great guild, ah, well, our new NED Doug Allen has gone eyeball to eyeball with AFTRA’s NED Kim Hedgpeth on the Phase One Agreement insisting on proportionality, based on AFTRA’s ten percent stake in the negotiations? And, it looks like SAG has blinked, and that if we keep listening to the small contingent of AFTRA board members and voice over folks on the ATA issue, it looks like we may give into Karen Stuart and her friends demand that only Qualified members would get to vote on any ATA referendum. Tiered Voting! BLINK!
Oh, by the way for those who doubt that AFTRA continues to lowball SAG contracts, with apparent impunity, it was also revealed that AFTRA has several different Template contracts that offer not only inferior minimums but free exhibition days ranging from ten to fifteen days. And what has SAG done about this? BLINK!
Now, this is not to say the task facing SAG is easy. It is not. The main problem in dealing with AFTRA leaderships’ skullduggery is that our board is basically split down the middle. Hollywood, which for the most part, wants to stand up to our adversaries whether AFTRA, The ATA, JPC or AMPTP, has to contend with New York and the branches, which for the most part, want to take the path of least resistance in all matters facing the guild.
And if things stand as they do now, it looks like SAG will be heading into the 2008 contract negotiations in equal partnership with AFTRA.
Ironically, due to an amendment to the resolution, this fifty-fifty relationship is an improvement over prior negotiations. As in the past, AFTRA negotiators in concert with their SAG counterparts have always given AFTRA the edge in the decision-making. It has generally worked like this in the past. Both AFTRA and SAG have 13 negotiators (Votes). SAG Hollywood with two thirds of the earnings gets 9 of those negotiators, New York 3, and the branches 1. The problem in the past is that the 3 New York votes and the 1 branch vote usually combined with the 13 AFTRA votes to control the negotiations (17-9) in their path of least resistance approach.
Under this new bloc voting system, the field of play will leveled to the extent that the majority would rule and carry the entire block of votes. Thus should Hollywood’s 9 votes be for a stronger contract then all 13 SAG votes would be for a stronger contract. Therefore giving us a tie with AFTRA, should they follow their previous pattern of settling for whatever our employers want to give us. And this was a victory for SAG. We will now have a degree of parity with AFTRA, which only has a 10 percent stake in the contract.
Now you try and explain this to any of your friends, and they’ll look at you and say, “Are you frikking crazy?” Hmmm, good question right?
In a sense, this was a victory for Hollywood in that if SAG does indeed go into the 2008 negotiations with AFTRA, we will be better off than if the resolution hadn’t passed. The irony here is that the people from NY who proffered the resolution ended up voting against it because of the amended block voting stipulation.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Due to the extended nature of this post, the Ol’ watchdog has included a couple of intermissions for your convenience to get on down to the lobby and get yourself a snack, ah, or whatever.
While SAG’s leadership seems to be content to remain officially silent on the AFTRA poaching and phase one disparity, AFTRA’s leaders are continually propagandizing.
This email, from our old friend Susan Boyd Joyce, was forwarded by another old friend, Keri Tombazian, eventually ending up on the Ol’ Dog email pouch.
From: Keri Tombazian
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 11:09 AM
To: Member 2 Member
Subject: The Relationship between AFTRA & SAG
Many of us have been in an ongoing dialogue about the interplay between SAG & AFTRA. Dual Member Susan Boyd Joyce has clarified some facts and given some analysis on the truth about the contracts. I concur. Here is her message:
With TV/Theatrical and Commercial negotiations looming ahead, there is a lot at stake for us all. Using language like “giving away the farm” and “defacto” this and that does terrible harm.
Although, AFTRA only has a ten percent stake in the TV/Theatrical negotiations, SAG allows them a fifty percent say. AFTRA, by the way, without a membership referendum surrendered to the ATA giving them the contract that SAG members voted down. Talk about :surrendering the farm!
A couple of points: Fact: Our proud tradition has been that ALL AFTRA negotiation committee members are also SAG members and stakeholders in the contracts.
Hey I’m a SAG member how about letting me on the negotiating committee too?
They also represent other categories (i.e. singers, dancers, stunt performers) in the room. SAG does not – indeed, SAG leaders assume AFTRA will provide access for these members, and have for years.
Hmmm, so it’s AFTRA that provides access for these SAG members who work under SAG contracts. Ah, okay.
This is part of the importance of joint bargaining. AFTRA’s presence is a positive, not a negative. SAG and AFTRA approved Phase I in 1981. It was as much a move to keep SAG from poaching TV jurisdiction as the other way around. AFTRA got TV from negotiations with the Television Authority in 1953, not because SAG was feeling generous that year.
The only jurisdiction AFTRA got was for Television done in a “Live Manner,” and that was because that was all that was left after National Labor Board supervised elections in which actors overwhelmingly chose SAG to represent them in filmed television. You’ll notice that Ms. Boyd offers an opinion but no proof. You can read the actual Four A’s charters mandating these jurisdictions by clicking http://sagwatchdog.com/cgi-bin/admin_config.pl/read/710
My take: The major SAG contracts can be called “mature”. I think they have become an unwieldy, overpriced, under-policed “one-size” set of contracts.
On the other hand, AFTRA has “any size it takes” to poach SAG contracts and screw actors by decreasing the minimums and residuals. It was revealed at the plenary that SAG has several of these AFTRA templates covering basic cable shows. For instance, on the AFTRA show Army Wives, actors can receive about a third of the pay that they would receive under a SAG basic contract. Not only that but with 15 free exhibition days actors on those shows are pretty well guaranteed that they will receive NO residuals. Here’s a thought instead of limiting exposure of these contract templates, why don’t they put them up on the SAG website where members can have a look at them, and decide for themselves whether AFTRA is low-balling or not?
This is not the way to navigate the shark-infested waters of digital – and newer than digital -media.
Once you see these AFTRA contracts, or work under one of them, you’ll realize who the real sharks are.
By the way, the newer SAG deals for low budget productions include rates for actors at $100/day.
These are ultra low-budget contracts to encourage new filmmakers to use SAG members. They are not contracts that lowball AFTRA contracts, and unlike AFTRA contracts, they are not handed out to the likes of the Disney Channel. By the way, the spin-off show, Corey In the House, from the hit SAG series “That’s So Raven” was poached by AFTRA with one of their cut-rate contracts. What? But, but if AFTRA hadn’t of stepped in with a better “DEAL” the show would have gone NON-UNION
The talk about doing the same work for the same rate has never been realistic in the world of start-up productions and wildly varying budgets.
Startup Productions? Oh, you mean like Warren & Rinsler Productions, who produced the last year of the SAG show “that’s So Raven,” and then took the “Corey in the House” spin-off over to AFTRA for one of their sweetheart deals. Is that the kind of Start-up Productions you’re talking about Susan? I read a post on the Internet by an actor who had worked on “Raven” and then worked on “Corey In the House” for less money and NO RESIDUALS, and he couldn’t understand why that happened, and he never will unless SAG starts educating members on what’s happening.
Fact: The terms and conditions for AFTRA and SAG on Prime Time CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX are identical. Why? Because we bargained our respective contracts at the same time, with staff and members in the room together.
Oh, by the way, when the contracts are identical, producers tend to go with SAG, uh, anyone care to tell me how many Primetime dramatic shows are AFTRA? Right! The only reason any producer goes to AFTRA is because they can get SAG actors through AFTRA’s backdoor at bargain basement prices. It’s pretty simple, the sellout, takes money out of actors pockets and puts it in AFTRA Coffers.
Currently, there is talk among SAG leadership to institute “Proportionality in the Negotiating Team.” This is a big phrase that means AFTRA would get a small number of its members in the room, and almost no say in the proceedings.
AFTRA should have almost no say in the agreements because they have almost no stake in them. After the 2000 commercial strike, AFTRA’s NED Greg Hessinger wrote a letter to SAG stating that they should only pay 10 percent of the cost of the strike because they only had a ten percent stake, but, but, hey they still figure they should have a FIFTY PERCENT SAY, right? (Click on the following link to read NED Hessinger’s letter.) http://sagwatchdog.com/cgi-bin/admin_config.pl/read/663
Question: Would SAG members agree to a risky and exclusive proposition like that?
Was that a veiled threat? Naw! And not necessary, because it looks like our SAG board, not our SAG membership, with a little nudge from New York and the branches has acquiesced to the implied threat!
Question: Whatever happened to a jointly bargained Basic Cable contract?
Answer: SAG bargained by itself and got members more money and residuals, unlike the handouts AFTRA is offering producers at the expense of members.
Fact: In the early 80’s cable was new on the radar screen – SAG leadership decided the time wasn’t right to talk to the employers about it.
It should be apparent by now that Ms. Boyd seems to be just making this up, or perhaps, she is just forgetful. You think? The 1986 Cable TV Show “Sanchez Of Bel Air was a SAG Show.
A comedian named Betsy Salkind thought it was pretty big, though. She, AFTRA staff and members shepherded Comedy Central into being as a union network over a decade ago. SAG didn’t want to organize the job. As a matter of fact, SAG leadership, at the turn of the century, instructed AFTRA that they were not to attempt an industry-wide organization of Basic Cable. Or else.
Comedy Centrals’ programming included only variety,& talk shows, none of which falls under SAG’s jurisdiction, so it was not up SAG to organize them. You know it’s too bad that instead of being a comedian, Betsy Salkind wasn’t a broadcaster. Maybe, then she could have got the AFTRA staff and members to shepherd CNN, Fox, News and MSNBC into the fold. Ah, unfortunately, in the case of those cable networks the only sheep are at AFTRA
Question: Or else what? Or else no more Phase One? Fact: Less than a year ago, SAG bargained – on its own – a Basic Cable agreement with some studios and networks. AFTRA wasn’t invited or consulted, even though AFTRA has been at that table for over 20 years. SAG’s leadership ignored Phase I in that process, and therefore there is now no jointly bargained, identical set of contracts in Basic Cable. That failure is at SAG’s door.
Ah, Ha The Ol’ “you didn’t invite me to the party” so I had to stab you in the back defense. Oh, by the way, right in the middle of those negotiations, even though AFTRA had signed 99-CVR-17R, an agreement not to lowball actors contracts, AFTRA undercut SAG to get a Cable TV Pilot entitled “Darkness at Noon.” Their “Poaching is Us” discounts on that one included a twenty percent cut on daily minimums and ten free exhibition days. (Click the following link to view that contract and another.) http://sagwatchdog.com/cgi-bin/admin_config.pl/read/756 )
Fact: Some people keep talking about AFTRA “giving away” inferior rates. That is a lie on its face. For me – a scale performer – SAG has priced its rank and file out of the market almost entirely.
There you go, you greedy actors. You are making too much money and SAG has priced you out of the market. That certainly won’t happen under AFTRA! Of course with what you make, you won’t be able to afford go into a market.
A dim idea called commission on scale was a unilateral decision by SAG leaders that sent the excellent commercials contract into its first tailspin. AFTRA later had to approve the same measure to keep the playing fields across the country even. I remember the debate in the room – it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Due to her lack of detail, I’m really not sure what Ms. Boyd is talking about here, but if you want to talk about a bitter pill to swallow, imagine going into to do a AFTRA cable show and discovering that you will make $341 for 2 days work and will receive no residuals–when under a SAG contract, in the same role you would have made $1474 dollars. ($341 rate could apply in those AFTRA shows that incorporate the AFTRA Network Code)
Caps on background actors was another destructive move, and one that AFTRA members rejected. That little nod to the studios’ cost controls has kept AFTRA staff struggling to hold that line and keep productions union, wall to wall.
First if you think AFTRA doesn’t grant waivers concerning their background actors, I got some Tampa Bay playoff tickets that I can let you have real cheap. In fact, this consideration is written in some of AFTRA’s Basic Cable Contracts. Let’s face it, caps on background actors isn’t the biggest concern of producers of these poached cable sitcoms with small casts and few background people. Especially in light of the cut-rate “deals” they have been given that can save them thousands upon thousands of dollars on minimums and residuals. I mean it ain’t like they are producing “The Titanic.”
And amazingly enough, sometimes they do. AFTRA has organized cable shows that have actors working under identical rates, there’s that word again – except the SAG cap on background doesn’t apply.
Yes, in a sense AFTRA rates are identical, they’re all lousy.
My take: That would seem to me to be a superior contract. Agents disenfranchised, branches closed, administrative waivers granted with no member input – the list goes on.
It’s funny that Ms. Boyd would mention franchising agents, and admonish SAG for no member input in the same paragraph. In light of the fact that AFTRA sold out to the agents for a half a million bucks without letting their members vote on the “deal” in referendum. She talks about branches closed. You want to see some closings? If SAG stops subsidizing AFTRA with 2 Million bucks a year for shared quarters, you think some of those AFTRA locals might be closing?
I have been a SAG member for over 40 years. I belong to a guild that is now monolithic and inflexible – a roaring dinosaur touting outsized rates for outdated film structures, with 50% of its dramatic programming not only out of reach for rank and file actors, but out of the country entirely. Crews, caterers, local support businesses – out of work and SOL.
And AFTRA’s solution? Lowball SAG’s Contracts!
Current Noise: The latest Screen Actor magazine slides by some interesting terrain. NED Doug Allen’s letter to the members on page 10 says, “SAG members currently represented by ATA/NATR agents are faced daily with the language of General Services Agreements (GSA’s) promulgated by the ATA (never negotiated with SAG)…” Makes it seem as though the GSAs sprang full grown from the heads of the agents. In reality they were a fallback position after SAG leadership reneged on its agreement with the ATA. Doug goes on, “There are also troubling and unresolved issues in our…relationship with AFTRA…: proportional representation in bargaining, and most problematic, jurisdictional conflict resulting in AFTRA’s organizing of basic cable scripted shows…”
The irony here is that the GSA’s Ms. Boyd talks about, came about because the very political party Ms. Boyd supported, RR/USAN, Melissa and her gang refused to enforce our constitution and stand up to the ATA, after mandated by our members in referendum to do so. And that “deal” that SAG reneged on which would have given agents ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ownership opportunities was also proffered by her party of choice at the time.
This is a thumbing of the nose at our agents, at a table that should be set for two unions with two contracts to bargain, and that’s been in AFTRA for 54 years. (Since both union and guild are sharing equally in the cost of the current Commercials Study, one wonders where and when the dividing line will actually be drawn between equality and proportionality.)
In her equality argument, Ms. Boyd seems to have forgotten the unpaid AFTRA share of the Two Million dollars Commercial strike costs. If her equality argument was valid then AFTRA should pay us the $800 thousand bucks, they begged out of paying because they only had a ten percent stake in the contracts.
Breeze past the blurb on page 15 about the FCC public hearing on media ownership and you’ll hear folks cite All in the Family, Good Times, and others as though they were SAG. Actually, they were all AFTRA before tape equipment got portable and SAG offered deals that excluded union ‘extras’ – a considerable savings even in those days.
Hmmm, interesting argument, Ms. Boyd seems to be condemning something SAG, supposedly, did over 30 years ago, to justify AFTRA doing it now. But, but, yeah, it was wrong then, but, but, now it’s okay because we’re doing it.
Scripted television has always been in AFTRA’s jurisdiction.
Like I said, there is a good reason Ms. Boyd does not offer any supporting documentation in her disinformation used to trash SAG. Let’s go to the original 4A’s jurisdictional charters on that one. You’ll notice, by reading the two pertinent parts of the charters, that SAG has jurisdiction over all filmed Television shows while AFTRA’s only jurisdiction covers shows done in a live manner. First the SAG Charter:
And now, the AFTRA Charter, which was derived through its merger with the TVA (Television Authority) and AFRA became AFTRA.
Page 21 is a math quiz. “Global Rule 1 Hits 5 Year MIlestone.” But is it really working? $16 million in P&H contributions over 5 years and 1805 jobs isn’t a helluva lot, folks. And parsed out, my calculator says those 638 productions and 1805 jobs average out to a whopping 2.83 American SAG actors per job. That’s one star and maybe 2 guest shots. Are the rest under an ACTRA or other contract? Rule 1, no contract/no work rules should be part of an educational, cooperative campaign to keep the work union and keep it in the country.
How’s this for a math quiz? Which is better having SIXTEEN MILLION DOLLARS added to your P&H? Or Nothing!Now she’s trashing Global Rule One because it only brought in an extra SIXTEEN MILLION dollars in P&H Contributions. This from one of the leaders of a union that can’t even stop its members from working non-union under their noses on “The Best Damn Sports Show.” Hell, if AFTRA could even come up with something called “USA Rule One,” think of the millions of dollars they would add to their coffers if they could get Larry King and the rest of their broadcasters to stop doing non-union and help organize CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and others. Huh? Oh, yeah, but, but, it’s easier to low ball SAG’s contracts than to try an get broadcasters to stop working non-union.
My take: AFTRA members have said clearly that Phase I has worked and it should continue to work. That’s how we get identical rates and conditions, that’s how we protect our members. SAG leaders in their plenary have to say just as clearly: what is best for SAG members is joint bargaining for contract parity. In private people assert their support for it. Certainly minority categories need Phase I just to get a place in the bargaining room, let alone near the table. It is time for our sisters and brothers at SAG to get informed about what’s really going on, and not simply buy into the lies and revisionist history.
I couldn’t agree more about informing members about all the lies and revisionist history going on, that’s why I have bothered to post this response to Ms. Boyd’s email, with all my supporting documentation. And hopefully, very shortly SAG will put up on the SAG website all the supporting documentation on how AFTRA continues, at an escalating rate, to screw actors with an ever growing number inferior contracts. AFTRA ain’t gonna stop until members step up and demand that they do so.
I hope for a successful and productive SAG plenary this weekend. Reaffirm the past success and future hope of Phase I. Recommit to carrying it out in letter and spirit. Instruct senior staff to work cooperatively among all the guilds and unions. Rebuild our mutual respect.
Hey, in light of what she has said about SAG in her email, Ms. Boyd certainly has done her part to rebuild mutual respect between the two guilds.
I think there is a subtle difference between “unity” and “solidarity.” Unity implies to me one point of view and no room for dissent.
From the Online Dictionary
Unity: The state or quality of being in accord; harmony.
Hmmm, not only does Ms. Boyd make up facts, she makes up her own definitions for words.
Solidarity has always meant to me striving for consensus through education, working through conflicts, celebrating our differences, building bridges. That’s the kind of union I want us to be.
And how is AFTRA building bridges? Why by poaching SAG’s contracts and screwing both their own and SAG’s members, of course!.
Susan Boyd Joyce
AFTRA, SAG, AEA
In Unity, ah, ah, I mean Solidarity, ah, Solid-unity!
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Telling aside: Concerned that under Bloc Voting, SAG might have an equal say with AFTRA in the negotiations, A USAN Board member threatened that if there was a strike, he would go to his basement and use his ISDN line to do non-union work. Hmmm, you think that he might be an voice-over guy, whose loyalties are with AFTRA?
Any suggestions on what we should do with a SAG board member like that?