NY Boards Betrayal Resolution stabs SAG Negotiators in the Back. SAG NED Doug Allen and President Rosenberg respond! And the Ol Dog has a few words



The NY Division Board of the Screen Actors Guild issued the following resolution today:

Every day the members of Screen Actors Guild are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unrealized wage increases while working under an expired TV/Theatrical contract. Every day our pension and health plans are losing the additional contributions these wage increases would supply.

WOOF !This, of course, is nothing more than parroting AMPTP propaganda about money members are losing by not signing a bad deal with rollbacks and giveaways. Yet, in their short sighted, weak-kneed missive, they never mention the billions of dollars that members will lose, in decades to come, if the formulas, precedents and terms of this contract are agreed to. It seems this gang is not only penny wise but pound foolish.

NY Board:We hear from National Executive Director Doug Allen that, “Discussions through alternative channels are ongoing,” and from President Alan Rosenberg that, “We’re doing a phenomenal job!” But nothing is happening and we are no closer to a deal than we were six weeks ago.

WOOF !On the other hand, unlike AFTRA which sold out actors giving, their negotiating partners, the AMPTP, every thing they wanted from deals on excerpts, downloading, streaming and the right for signatories to do non-union projects, SAG under Doug, Alan and Membership First has hung tough. SAG USAN Board Member Richard Masur, with the backing of these very same USAN board members, who are now protesting, introduced a motion to the entire board that passed UNANIMOUSLY.

It stated that allowing signatories to do non-union projects went against the Core Principles of SAG. Now, however, apparently Richard and the USAN gang are willing to violate those principles in order to make political gain, or, as is their usual AFTRA First M.O., go-along-to-get-along behavior, when it comes to dealing with our employers, GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT. If we did a version of “Oklahoma” featuring USAN and Membership First, when it came to our employers, they’d be the group that sang, “We’re just the Slate that Can’t say NO.

NY Board: In failing to bargain realistically with the AMPTP and remove unattainable items from the table, our negotiating team, controlled by the current Hollywood leadership, has pursued an agenda that has more to do with politics than with securing a beneficial contract and has betrayed the trust of the membership.

WOOF !Ah, so this is more about attacking Hollywood Leadership for political gain, than about attaining a good deal for our membership. (How is the current situation giving Membership First Personal Political gain?) The easy, and politically expedient thing would be to cave into our employer’s demands and then lie to the membership about the great deal they got. Does anyone doubt that is what the opportunistic USAN Leadership would do if they were in power? You know, it’s really disingenuous that the NY board would NOW blame the Hollywood Leadership and negotiators for failing to secure a beneficial contract, especially in light of the fact that BOTH the Hollywood and NY negotiators voted UNANIMOUSLY TO REJECT THE AMPTP’s BEST AND FINAL OFFER. Yeah, that’s right, the NY Board, including the negotiators who voted not to accept the deal, are now complaining in public and blaming Hollywood’s negotiators for failing to bargain realistically. SAG’s Hollywood leadership needs to go public and expose these USAN NY hypocrites.

NY Board:It seems, as industry press has reported, that they intend to simply sit still until the upcoming elections are concluded, rather than make the “unpopular” moves necessary to make a deal. In short, the willful inaction of our negotiators is costing our members money, every day.
WOOF !It seems that the USAN board is making baseless speculation. But they are right it would take “unpopular” moves to make a deal, moves that would be especially unpopular with members in decades to come. Of course if these brilliant USAN strategist were in charge, why they wouldn’t sit still keeping their strategies to themselves. No sir, like great military strategist throughout time, they would immediately open their big mouths and go public with their plans. Plans that could only put a smile on Nick Counter and the AMPTP’s faces. Hey, and why not do it now, in a underhanded missive of divisiveness? Especially, after the showing of SAG solidarity on the Core Principle motion that was recently passed unanimously by the SAG board? A motion that gave SAG a certain needed leverage in these negotiations. Look, if the AMPTP actually thought SAG was together on our reasonable proposals, they might have dropped their unreasonable hard line demands and actually returned to the bargaining table. But with the NY board divisive resolution , and the likes of Producer Tom Hanks, “I want to Take Your Vote Away” Sally Field, and others continually getting out the message of lack of resolve by our membership, it is a miracle that SAG’s Leadership has been able to stand firm.

NY Board:The New York members of the National Board of Screen Actors Guild insist that our negotiators signal to the AMPTP SAG’s willingness to bargain in good faith and remove any impediments to the achievement of a deal.

WOOF !Translation: Give them what they want. Cave in on the Core Principle of SAG that signatories will not be allowed to destroy the very glue that holds this union togethersignatories cannot do non-union projects. Cave in on Force Majeure, Product Placement, downloading, streaming, and especially cave in on getting an increase in producers golden goose VHS/DVD formula which would give the entire cast an increase on a twelve dollar DVD, from 1 penny per DVD, to 1.15 penny per DVD. I mean come on it is unrealistic to ask for a bump in this Producer friendly formula, which has not changed for over a quarter of a century. Right? *do

NY Board:If there is no clear and obvious movement forward in the negotiating process by August 25th, we demand that our negotiators request a federal mediator be brought in to facilitate the negotiating process and finally get our members a contract. Our members are losing over $1.7 million every week that we continue to work under the expired TV/Theatrical agreement. This must not continue.

WOOF !How do they know that we’re losing over 1.7 million dollars every week, why, because their masters, the AMPTP, have a counter on their website telling them so. And we all know those guys wouldn’t lie to actors. Right? *

NY Board:NY President and second National Vice-President, Sam Freed, also issued the following comment: “All of us in NY, Hollywood and across the country should be concerned about how this failure to reach an agreement is impacting our members.

WOOF !Put this statement from Sam Freed down under Lack of Integrity and forthright fullness. A little story; the evening before SAG negotiators were to give their answer to the AMPTP on whether to accept or reject their offer. The negotiators were meeting in what they called the fishbowl at AMPTP headquarters. Hollywood negotiators all agreed to NOT accept the offer. Sam Freed was, shall we say, vacillating. It was finally put to him to either, well these weren’t the actual words that were used, butt, butt, it went something like this, “Sh*t or get off the pot” After a quick caucus with his other NY/Branch negotiators,(No I can’t say for sure the caucus was held in the bathroom) butt, butt, when he returned, Sam and the NY/Branch negotiators decided to join the others and REJECT THE AMPTP FINAL OFFER. It was a UNANIMOUS vote to reject the AMPTP Final Offer! Like I said a lack of integrity on Sam Freed’s part. He voted with the Hollywood negotiators to REJECT the producers offer. And NOW he is admonishing the Hollywood negotiators for NOT reaching a deal; a deal that HE personally voted against. *do

Sam Freed: They have already suffered significantly as a result of the WGA strike, and now they are experiencing an additional loss of work, made worse when they can find a job, by having to work without a contract under old terms and conditions. There are some who feel we have all the time in the world to make this deal. We on the NY Board do not.”

WOOF !But, but, boy they are sure doing a lot to help us reach a truly fair deal? Hey nothing like a segment of union leaders coming forward and stabbing their negotiators in the back to display union solidarity! I mean, come on, it’s a great way to convince employers of our solidarity, and that they better make a fair deal in order to facilitate their greatest need. A need recently expresed in the news media.


But, but, we need to cave into them, right, NY Board? I mean be realistic. Our employers have all the leverage, and our request, are, why they’re downright unrealistic, and unattainable.

Let’s face it, if these guys ran things back in 1776, we’d all be drinking tea and speaking with an English accent.

Speaking of which, Blokes and Blokettes, it’s late-and it’s post time!


A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

Following are statements issued by Alan Rosenberg and Doug Allen in response to a press release sent to media today by the New York Division Board of Directors regarding an advisory motion to the National Board.

Statement by Alan Rosenberg, National President, Screen Actors Guild

Los Angeles, CA August 17, 2008

SAG National President Alan Rosenberg responds to the New York Division Board press release:

“This advisory motion is not in the best interests of New York Division SAG members or any SAG members across the country. It could tend to delay and prolong the negotiations by emboldening management with a false belief that SAG actors are split on the issues.

The plainly political nature of this action is cynical and unfortunate. It is an attempt to damage SAG’s negotiations and New York Division members may well wonder why this action is being taken by their elected representatives,” said Rosenberg.

On Wednesday, August 13, 2008, the SAG National Negotiating Committee met for an update and was at no time informed of the New York Division advisory motion which had been passed by the New York Division Board in executive session two days prior on Monday, August 11.

New York Division Board members, including the New York Division President and Negotiating Committee Co-chair, were in attendance at the negotiating committee meeting and did not mention the advisory motion. These representatives of SAG actors in the New York Division failed to provide the negotiating committee with important and critical information in their possession at the time.

Statement by Doug Allen, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, Screen Actors Guild

Los Angeles, CA August 17, 2008

SAG National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen responds to the New York Division Board press release:

“This is an advisory motion of the New York Division Board of Directors. SAG’s negotiation strategy is determined by the National Negotiating Committee under the authority of, and informed by the advice and review of the National Board of Directors. The New York Division Board has proportional representation on both of these bodies and can, like Hollywood and Regional Branch Division Boards, submit advisory motions to the National Board of Directors for its consideration.

“As recently as several weeks ago, the National Board of Directors provided significant guidance to the National Negotiating Committee and SAG’s negotiators in the form of a unanimous resolution declaring that two new media principles offered by management are unacceptable. This strong message of unity and support offered and approved by the representatives of the Regional Branch Division, the Hollywood Division and the New York Division of the Board provided specific direction to the negotiators on key elements of the negotiations.

“Contrary to some characterizations included in this advisory motion, the negotiators have held substantive discussions with numerous representatives of the employers and the AMPTP over the last several weeks and will continue to do so in an effort to secure a fair deal for SAG members.

“Mediation is an option available any time the parties mutually agree to it. Mediation does not guarantee that negotiations will accelerate to an agreement and often has slowed the process down, as recently seen in the WGA negotiations, which included mediation. It has not, up to this point, been viewed as something the parties feel would facilitate an agreement.

“As per our standard procedure, this Division advisory motion will be conveyed to the National Board of Directors along with any advisories that may be issued by the Regional Branch Division or Hollywood Division Boards.”

Doug Allen
National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator

Here is my response immediately after reading a motion from the USAN NY Board, in what I consider a betrayal to our union, our negotiators and our membership.

Ah, just what we need another letter from the NY USAN “go-along-to-get-along” leadership. One that can only give aid and comfort to our employers. But what else is new. Can anyone think of anything this AFTRA First group has ever done to empower our guild?

One hand, they agree that it violates a core principle of our guild to allow our signatories to do non-union shows, but on the other hand they pressure negotiators to sign a contract that would do just that.

They talk about unattainable goals, but they fail to mention what these unattainable goals are. They mealy mouth and parrot AMPTP propaganda about money members are losing by not signing a bad deal with rollbacks and giveaways, yet, in their short sighted, weak-kneed missive, they never mention the billions of dollars that members will lose, in decades to come, if the formulas, precedents and terms of this contract are agreed to.

Until the membership of NY gets rid of these AFTRA First Leaders, SAG will continue to be under siege from them, and SAG will continue to be vulnerable to lousy contracts proffered to us with their assistance.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief