February 5, 2012 Posted by REJ
February 5, 2012 Posted by REJ
Los Angeles (September 22, 2011) — Screen Actors Guild today announced the results of elections for its top two elected positions and National Board. Ken Howard has been re-elected for a second term as Screen Actors Guild president, and Amy Aquino will continue in her role as secretary-treasurer. Both will serve two-year terms, beginning September 25.
Ballots for the national officers election were mailed to 100,994 paid-up SAG members on August 23, and 23,459 were tabulated today, for a return of 23.23 percent. Howard received 17,492 votes, with David Hillberg getting 3,047 votes, Sharon Rubin receiving 1,681 votes and Asmar Muhammad receiving 855 votes. Aquino ran unopposed and received 20,399 votes.
“There’s nothing more important than members exercising their right to vote, and I’m very grateful for their continued support,” said Howard. “With so many pro-merger candidates elected again this year, there’s no doubt what members want, and I look forward to presenting a comprehensive plan to the SAG and AFTRA national boards in January.”
“Two years ago, SAG members definitively set the Guild on the road to merger, and this election confirms they want it more than ever,” Aquino said. “I’ll continue working to strengthen SAG’s operations and finances, and I’m honored to be able to help my fellow performers achieve the crucial goal of creating one union.”
A working actor for more than 40 years, Howard has an extensive resume that includes work on television, movies and the stage, including the upcoming Clint Eastwood biopic J. Edgar. An Emmy and Tony Award winner, he helped create and starred in The White Shadow from 1978 – 1982, and has had recurring roles on 30 Rock, Dynasty, Melrose Place and Crossing Jordan. He is the author of the book Act Natural, and serves as the chancellor of the National Kidney Foundation.
Aquino’s career in acting spans more than two decades. She has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including Moonstruck, Law & Order, Castle, Monk, ER, CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond just to name a few. She also has an extensive career in theater, and holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama.
Screen Actors Guild also announced election results for the National Board of Directors. Approximately one third of the 69 national board seats were open for election this year, representing Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood, New York and Regional Branch divisions.
Screen Actors Guild National Executive Director David White welcomed new members, as well as those who were re-elected.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to President Howard, Secretary-Treasurer Aquino and all of the new and returning members of the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors,” he said. “I look forward to working with the officers and board members during such an exciting period in the Guild’s life. We have a lot of terrific work ahead of us.”
SAG’s Hollywood Division elected 12 National Board members; the New York Division elected five National Board members; and seven National Board members were elected from the union’s branches in Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Nashville, Nevada and Washington-Baltimore.
National Board members elected from the Hollywood Division: Tony Shalhoub, Ken Howard, Adam Arkin, Amy Aquino, Stephen Collins, D.W. Moffett, Scott Bakula, Ned Vaughn, Mimi Cozzens, Arye Gross, L. Scott Caldwell (three-year terms) and Kate Flannery (one-year term).
The following were elected to serve as National Board alternates and to the Hollywood Division Board of Directors (one-year terms): Valerie Harper, Ellen Crawford, Esai Morales, Stacey Travis, John Carroll Lynch, Lisa Vidal, Christine Lakin, Michael O’Neill, Mandy Steckelberg, Tara Radcliffe, Michelle Allsopp, Bob Bergen, Assaf Cohen, Jon Huertas, Sarayu Rao, Allen Lulu, Woody Schultz, Donal Logue, Patrick Fabian, Iqbal Theba, Bertila Damas and Parvesh Cheena.
National Board members elected from the New York Division (three-year terms): Rebecca Damon, Lewis Black, Sam Robards, Ezra Knight and Jay Potter.
Additionally, New York Division members re-elected Mike Hodge for a two-year term as New York Division president. Hodge received 3,185 votes with Sam Robards receiving 2,276 votes.
The following were elected to serve as National Board alternates and to the New York Division Board of Directors (one-year terms): Traci Godfrey, Mark Blum, Marc Baron, John Rothman, Kevin Scullin, Dave Bachman, Matt Servitto, Phoebe Jonas and Manny Alfaro.
National Board members elected from the Regional Branch Division (three-year terms): Bill Mootos (Boston), Suzanne Burkhead (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Ed Kelly (Detroit), Robert Nelson (Houston), Cece DuBois (Nashville), Art Lynch (Nevada) and Stephen F. Schmidt (Washington-Baltimore).
Ballots for all eligible SAG members in Hollywood and New York were mailed on August 23 with a September 22 return deadline and were tabulated today by the independent election company Integrity Voting Systems. A total of 10,621 ballots were tabulated in the Hollywood Division (representing 19.37 percent of ballots mailed in the Hollywood Division) and 5,739 ballots were tabulated in the New York Division (representing 25.11 percent of ballots mailed in the New York Division). The number of ballots returned in the Regional Branch elections varied by region.
When you check your ballot information accompanying AFTRA’s Exhibit “A” referendum ballot, you’ll read the following.
It is obvious to the Ol’ Dog that the inclusion of the caveat stating that a NO VOTE IS TO AUTHORIZE A STRIKE is included to scare members into thinking that there will, most likely, be a strike if they vote against the contract.
Only, one little problem with AFTRA’s little ploy, and that is that, as stated, it violates AFTRA’s Constitution.
There are certain perimeters, for work stoppages, set in the AFTRA constitution for members voting in a referendum, other than jointly bargained contracts.
In regards to such actions, the AFTRA Constitution sets a standard that clearly states that it takes two-thirds of the members voting in referendum to okay any work stoppages; Article XI, states that no such order of the board shall be issued unless such order shall be concurredby two-third (2/3) of those of the members who vote thereon in a mail referendum vote ordered by the National Board under rules and regulations prescribed by it!”
Do I detect a referendum challenge here? You know, it ain’t nice to lie to the membership, in one of these things, ah, the feds don’t take nicely to any irregularities–as AFTRA discovered when they were forced by the DOL to rerun one of their recent elections because of violations.
Oh, remember how AFTRA bragged about it being a cooperative effort between them and the DOL in actuating that rerunah, well, in all that cooperating with the DOL AFTRA managed to spend $50,000 of members dues dollars in attorney fees.
Oh, one other little problem, that may come back to bite AFTRA’s Leadership in the ass, is their free and easy way with their constitution, in regards to another matter.
Under jointly negotiated collective bargaining agreements, AFTRA’s constitution, Article XII sets no caveats as to which members can vote on the agreement.
However, since Exhibit “A” is no longer jointly negotiated under Phase One, it falls under Article XIII of the AFTRA Constitution. The fact that AFTRA is sending this actors contract, out to all its members, including those who don’t, or have never, worked it (Members such as D.J.’s, newsmen, weathermen and other broadcasters) violates AFTRA’s Constitution.
AFTRA Constitution Article XIII (Ratification All Other National Collective Bargaining Agreements, Contracts or Codes)
Now, if any of these Disc Jockeys, news anchors, correspondents, weahtermen, or other broadcasters have pursued, or worked, this contract, certainly they would be affected members. But, on the other hand, if they have never, and this would apply to most of them, worked this contract, they certainly wouldn’t qualify as members affected by this agreement.
Therefore, if they are being allowed to vote on a contract that doesn’t affect them, it would be a violation of the AFTRA Constitution, and therefore a violation, subject to challenge with the Department of Labor leadership. (To put this in proper perspective, actors are not allowed to vote on broadcasters contracts.)
But then no one should be surprised by AFTRA’s disregard for its constitution; any leadership which refuses to let its own members verify its referendum results, or look at the contracts that they work under, certainly isn’t concerned about a couple of constitutional violations, ah that is, until it, once again, is forced to cooperate with the DOL!
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
So, Tom Hanks, who has the same PR Firm that represents AFTRA, and Tom Hanks who is a producer that took his productions like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” to Canada, and “Band of Brothers” abroad, to avoid making them SAG productions, is supporting a contract that will put money in his pockets, at the expense of actors, is in favor of the AFTRA Contract.
Yet, another reason to Vote NO!
Remember, actors, a NO Vote on the AFTRA Exhibit A “Deal,” is a YES vote for your future ability to make a living.
This just appeared on the SAG Website! SAG Watchdog comments are highlighted!
SAG AGREES TO PROVIDE CRUCIAL WAIVER TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH SERVICES FOR ITS MEMBERS! ( In a deal that usurps you and your agent’s right to get you the best deal possible when dealing with employers. Oh, by the way it appears to also be unconstitutional! Read Article V at the end of this post!)
Los Angeles (July 7, 2004) Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today granted a waiver to the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MTPF) (Huh? Hmmm, I didn’t know we had a collective bargaining contract with the MTPFlet me check, nope they aren’t signatories.) which provides tens of thousands of SAG members in the Los Angeles area with critical health and human services that will directly strengthen the MPTF’s core services to members of the entertainment community. (This is a deal that was previously rejected by the TV/Theatrical Standing Committee, but that was before those in a leadership position got their Restore Respect troops “to-go-along-to-give away.”)Today’s action by SAG will result in entertainment product company, Hasbro, providing a $1 million advance to the MPTF as part of Hasbro’s development of a new DVD game, the proceeds from which will also be shared with the Fund for the expansion of their services.(It will also result in a sweetheart deal that will enable Hasbro to avoid making individual deals with each performer thus saving them untold millions.) The rare waiver granted by SAG…(I’ll say it’s rare! The last one this rare was granted to MCA. You remember that one? It allowed MCA the right to have their own production company. You remember that one? It was eventually overturned only after charges of racketeering were in the process of being filed by the then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.}… will allow for the use of its members’ voices and likenesses in the game, though normally such uses would involve consent of the individual members.( Hello! Normally would involve the consent of the member? Excuse me, but if they want to use a clip of my voice they will have to deal with my agent!) Additionally, the Fund will create a royalty pool for the benefit of individual SAG members whose performance appears in the game. These SAG members will have the option of collecting their royalties or contributing their royalties back to the Fund.(Hmmm, now there’s a couple of great choices! Either take the MINIMAL deal THEY negotiated for you, or turn your money over to charity! Have CEO Bob, Melissa and her crowd even bothered to read SAG’s constitution? Article 11, section 4, states “Maximum rate of compensation of any member of the guild from any producer of motion pictures shall never be fixed or regulated by the guild.”)
“We granted this waiver to take care of our own,” (that seems to be readily apparent)said SAG President Melissa Gilbert. (The rest of this is just tap dancing. A diversion from the fact that you, my fellow SAG member, have just been royally screwed.). “Each year, tens of thousands of SAG members are cared for by the services provided by the Motion Picture & Television Fund. In the long tradition of SAG support for its community, this waiver will ensure that the Fund can continue to provide the best services possible for our members, while also ensuring that our members whose likenesses are used in the game have a stake in the proceeds. This is about actors doing what they can to strengthen the Motion Picture & Television Fund.”
Each year, the Motion Picture & Television Fund serves tens of thousands of SAG members:
This year, the Fund expects 120,000 visits to its patient health centers in the Los Angeles area. An estimated 20 percent of those patients are SAG members over 24,000 people who will receive full outpatient care.
Of the roughly 4,000 people that took advantage on the Fund’s free counseling services last year, an estimated 35 percent were members of SAG.
The Fund works with the SAG Foundation to provide cash payments to SAG members who are without health coverage in order to ensure they have access to health care.
“The MTPF Foundation must raise approximately $16 million to serve the growing needs of the community,” said Ken Scherer, CEO of Motion Picture & Television Foundation. “This act by Screen Actors Guild is in the long tradition of SAG support for the Fund, which has allowed it to grow and serve literally hundreds of thousands of members of this community from both in front of and behind the camera.
“Those wishing to contribute to the Motion Picture & Television Fund can do so by calling 818-876-1900 or through www.mptvfund.org
About the Motion Picture & Television Fund
The non-profit Motion Picture & Television Fund, headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA, was founded in 1921 to provide “relief” for those in the film industry who had fallen on hard times. Today, 83 years later, MPTF is a major service provider supporting the health and well being of the entertainment community. Health care, childcare, retirement living, and social/charitable services are offered with compassion and respect for the dignity of the whole person. Care is offered through the MPTF 256-bed hospital, five outpatient health centers, charitable financial assistance and community outreach programs, a full-scale retirement community, and a children’s day care center. Visit us at www.mptvfund.org
About SAGScreen Actors Guild is the nation’s premier labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 working actors in film, television, industrials, commercials and music videos. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG on-line at www.sag.org
Uh, I’m sure we will hear more on this later. Gosh, I wonder how our agents are going to feel about this? Hmmmm, a thought! Do you think Hasbro has embedded unions busters amongst us?
A.L. Miller Editor & Chief
A reading of various articles of the SAG Constitution indicates that under the circumstances this deal is most likely UNCONSTITUTIONAL For instance, it was neither approved by the National Board or the National Executive Committee. Article V, Section 1, H.,3.d of the SAG Constitution states “The National Board has the final exclusive authority with regard to the following matters, except that the National Board may delegate that final authority at its discretion: (d) approving significant and precedential waivers to major collective bargaining agreements,except that the N.E.C. may approve such a waiver if the Board of Directors cannot do so in a timely fashion;”
Now does anyone honestly believe that this unconstitutional waiver granted by THE TV THEATRICAL STANDING COMMITTEE, which is controlled by Melissa and her Restore Respect gang, is neither significant or precedential!
Or how about this portion of the constitution: Membership ratification ARTICLE XI
Collective Bargaining, Agreements & Ratification
Section 1. “Except as set forth in Section 2 of this Article, all collective bargaining contracts negotiated by the Guild shall be submitted for ratification to the membership affected thereby. Such ratification may be made either (a) by written vote of a majority of the members voting thereon, at a National Membership meeting or a special meeting called for such purpose, or (b) by written vote of a majority of the members voting thereon, in a mail ballot.
However, membership ratification shall not be required with respect to amendments made during the term of a collective bargaining contract which are of a minor nature, or which are required for purposes of clarification or to resolve problems arising in the administration of the contract.”
Once again does anyone out there see this precedent setting waiver as being minor in nature. Whether a waiver or amendment, isn’t our constitution trying to tell us that before opening such a monumentally, murky Pandora’s Box, the membership should be consulted in a referendum
Under Civil Code 3344, an artist now controls his/her likeness. Are we now to give up that control because of CEO Bob, Melissa and the Restore Respect agenda?
*My colleague SAG member Terrence Beasor helped compile some of the research for this article.
SAG DUES PLAN REJECTED IN CLOSE MEMBER VOTE
Los Angeles (June 1, 2004) Screen Actors Guild
(SAG) today announced that the dues proposal overwhelmingly endorsed by the National Board this past April has failed by a narrow 51.88% to 48.12% margin in a referendum vote, with 36 percent of eligible SAG members casting ballots. The final tally was certified this evening by Washington state-based Integrity Voting Systems.
“It’s never a popular decision to go to members and ask for more resources,” explained James Cromwell, SAG secretary and treasurer. “But the National Board felt strongly that a strike fund, enhanced member services and an end to deficit spending were worth an extra $30 a year. A strong percentage of the membership agreed. Slightly more did not, and that’s where we are today. The members have spoken. We will find a way to live within our means.”
The dues proposal would have generated an estimated $7.3 million in annual revenues to finance a war chest, replenish the union’s operating fund and aggressively pursue member service programs like completion of an online casting directory and full implementation of a new eligibility system for background actors. The proposal would have increased base dues by a modest $30 per year and increased work dues from 0.85% to 0.95%* for earnings under $200,000 and raised dues on wages from $200,000 to $500,000 from 0.5 % to 1%. Finally, the proposal would have significantly increased new member initiation fees from $1,356 to $2,085.
“We had a divided vote on this referendum, but we remain united at the negotiating table,” said SAG President Melissa Gilbert. “We remain committed to securing real gains on residuals structures,on better coverage for background actors and on improved compensation and benefits. Naturally, we are disappointed we won’t be able to put enhanced services and resources to use for our members. But SAG will remain a strong union. One vote can’t change that.”
SAG’s Chief Financial Officer, Peter Frank, said: “Because we are committed to putting an end to deficit spending, the result of this referendum certainly means that some current services and new programs will be affected. Tough choices will now have to be made about how to achieve a balanced budget.”
*The above piece came verbatim off the SAG Website. The correct numbers should read 1.85% up to 1.95%. Who knows maybe the cutbacks have already began–and Mr. Pisano had to type the damn thing himself.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief