A Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer: Jane Austin


Jane Austin, SAGAFTRA MembershipFirst.jpg

“As we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, and ours is to each other.”


Dear Member,

In light of recent newsworthy events arising from within our industry, I thought now would be as good of a time as any to remind us all of the significant power we each have as members of such a strong union. As we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, and ours is to each other. The union is not only the glue that binds us as artists and family, the union is our home base and protects us as our advocate. Just as we regularly work to hone our craft, the union must continually engage members to maintain its strength.  

It is important for every member to embrace the concept of unity. It is an easy and encouraging sentiment to say, but what does it really mean? One way to imagine it is, as a member, you are a piece of the puzzle that is needed to complete the picture. 

Each time a union member takes it upon themselves to speak out about unfair, dangerous or inappropriate business practices they have witnessed or heard about, their action empowers not only themselves, but also contributes to the union’s growing strength and power. Each time a member chooses to uphold Global Rule One and refuses to work non-union, they empower themselves, and by proxy, strengthen our unity and consolidated sway. This is what allows us to bargain for better contracts and agreements, like our recently approved Interactive Media Video Game Agreement. It is what helps us garner momentum and rally against unjust employers, such as our current campaign against Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS).

You can feel good about paying your dues to SAG-AFTRA knowing that the union will always be there to protect your wages and working conditions, and serve as a resource for your livelihood and well-being. I am pleased to report that SAG-AFTRA’s finances are healthy and the union is on solid footing. 

As always, a great way of building your relationship with the union and your fellow SAG-AFTRA members is to get involved. Volunteer or attend the many educational seminars, events, classes and benefits available to you. Read the union’s emails, newsletters and magazine thoroughly. There are many ways to stay connected. 

As November continues and we move into December, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season. In the spirit of this letter and the time of year, please take advantage of your local SAG-AFTRA winter celebrations and come enjoy the company of one another!

In solidarity,

Jane Austin

Originally publication on SagAftra.org