The National Board of SAG-AFTRA overwhelmingly approved a TV/Theatrical contracts negotiations package during a scheduled one-day video plenary Saturday at both the James Cagney Board Room in Los Angeles and the Ken Howard Boardroom in New York.
“I want to thank the members around the country who participated in our Wages and Working Conditions process and helped develop a meaningful package of proposals for this upcoming negotiation,” said SAG-AFTRA President and TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee Chair Gabrielle Carteris said. “Their contributions are crucial in developing our proposals and I am deeply proud of the work they did and thank the board for their overwhelming support for the members’ recommended proposals and the negotiating committee.”
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White said, “President Carteris and the members of the Wages & Working Conditions Committee have done a remarkable job in developing the package of proposals. I also want to commend Gabrielle for her leadership of the committee and its very effective W&W process. We had the largest and most diverse W&W in our history and the members’ dedication to the process is essential in the success of the effort.”
Carteris opened the meeting in memory of the members who have passed away since the last national board meeting in October. Carteris updated the board on the union’s effort to ensure California’s anti-age discrimination law is enforced by the courts. She requested that board members who have asked IMDb to remove their ages from the site share the reply they received from the company with the union.
She also detailed her recent trip to Washington, D.C., where she attended an AFL-CIO reception for incoming freshmen members of Congress and met with lawmakers from both parties on Capitol Hill.
Carteris also acknowledged the work of Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez ahead of the upcoming TV/Theatrical negotiations.
Moreover, Carteris updated the board on the interactive strike and noted SAG-AFTRA is holding a rally on Feb. 2 in Los Angeles.
National Executive Director’s Report
White updated the board on operational matters and noted that several digital initiatives have launched, including the online agency portal, which allows agents to submit materials through the SAG-AFTRA website. A portal for casting directors will soon be rolled out, as will an updated version of the popular Production Center. Additionally, White said that online reporting and filing is now available to field staff, which is saving staff time. He also noted that cyber security remained a top priority of the union’s IT department.
“The terrific work of our IT department means that the union can continue to harness technology to be more responsive to our membership,” said White. “This will enable us to be more nimble as we head into a crucial negotiation and the upcoming national convention.”
Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Pamela Greenwalt and Chief Information Officer Daniel Inukai walked board members through a demonstration of the beta version of SAG-AFTRA’s new mobile member app. The app, which recently cleared final development and testing, will be released on both iOS and Android platforms in early February. Rich with member tools, services and information including a residuals tracker, the app will periodically be updated and enhanced following its initial release.
Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto reported second quarter results are tracking ahead of plan revenue with expenses tracking closely to budget.
The board approved a finance committee recommendation to hold initiation fees at the current rate of $3,000. Additionally, the automatic increase in base dues from $206 to $210.12 is effective as of the May 1, 2017 dues period.
During his report, Rodriguez provided an update on the W&W process and detailed the proposals package for the 2017 TV/Theatrical Negotiations. The board subsequently voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution approving the recommendations of the W&W Plenary Committee, which met January 6-7, 2017, and the negotiations proposals package. The package is confidential and details will not be released.
Legal And Governance Report
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland updated the board on the 2016 census report and Executive Committee actions. Crabtree-Ireland also demonstrated the online nominating process for upcoming SAG-AFTRA elections, and introduced local constitutional amendments that were unanimously approved by the national board.