The SAG-AFTRA National Board, meeting in a special session conducted via Zoom videoconference, passed resolutions aimed at correcting misrepresentations about SAG-AFTRA Health Plan changes and instituting a rule requiring members to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “We have grown increasingly concerned about the flood of misleading information being spread by certain websites and social media accounts about our Health Plan. Like many scams that target the elderly, the misinformation being spread is endangering our most vulnerable members. By directing Plan participants to unofficial websites rather than the Plan’s official, vetted and accurate website, they are confusing people who need to connect with the Plan to ensure they have appropriately transitioned to their new coverage. Further, efforts to minimize the importance of the 80% COBRA premium discount the Plan is offering for transitioning participants are preventing eligible participants from reaching out to benefit from this crucial transition program.”
Citing multiple instances in which members, many of them Senior Performers, reached out about misleading information and accusations regarding the Health Plan changes, numerous board members from across the country expressed their disappointment with those individuals who are leading the misinformation campaign and outrage with their actions, and urged the board to direct the union to protect its membership by ensuring accuracy around the changes.
The National Board passed the following resolution to protect members:
RESOLUTION RE: ACCURACY OF INFORMATION ABOUT HEALTH PLAN CHANGES
WHEREAS, the upcoming changes to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan are of great importance to the members of SAG-AFTRA and the union itself, and
WHEREAS, although the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan is an independent organization that is not controlled by SAG-AFTRA, it is essential that SAG-AFTRA’s members are provided with accurate information about those changes, and
WHEREAS, a substantial amount of misinformation has been circulated through social media and other forms of communication, which has left some SAG-AFTRA members with incorrect understandings of the nature of and reasons for the changes, and
WHEREAS, some have sought to generate fear in those members through salacious and inaccurate communications;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the SAG-AFTRA National Board that SAG-AFTRA will take all appropriate action to ensure that members are not deceived by misrepresentations, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SAG-AFTRA condemns those who seek to use the financial challenges to the Health Plan and the related changes to generate fear or anger in furtherance of personal agendas.
In a second, unrelated action, the board voted to approve the amendment of Rule 2 to implement a new member rule requiring members to fully comply with SAG-AFTRA-approved safety rules and protocols, including the Return to Work agreement and all COVID-19 on-set protocols. The rule provides for member discipline to be imposed for any violation of the protocols and defines a procedure for review, consideration and adjudication of such violations.
SAG-AFTRA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who heads the union’s Pandemic Safety and Return to Work initiative, said, “The vast majority of SAG-AFTRA members working on set are consistently and conscientiously protecting themselves and their fellows by following the pandemic protocols laid out in the Return to Work agreement. This new rule makes absolutely clear SAG-AFTRA’s commitment to ensuring that everyone takes on-set safety very seriously, including rules and protocols designed to help prevent the spread of COVID.”
The full text of the amendment is below:
AMENDMENT TO MEMBERSHIP RULES RE: COMPLIANCE WITH SAFETY PROTOCOLS
a) It shall be the duty of every member to fully comply with workplace safety protocols approved by SAG-AFTRA.
b) It shall be the duty of every member to report to the union any violation by a
signatory of any of the union’s collective bargaining agreements, as the same now
exist or may hereafter be amended.
c) A charge of violation of this rule filed by a member in good standing under Article XIV of the Constitution must be based on the member’s in-person observation of the violation; a charge filed by the union shall be based on its investigation of the facts and circumstances.