MembershipFirst Accomplishments

  • More Money to Members

  • MembershipFirst negotiators discovered in the 2001 TV Negotiations that our P&H was being taken out of our Basic Cable residuals, while for 15 years the DGA and WGA had it added to their wages. Millions were lost in earnings previous to that.

  • Although the Memorandum of Agreement advised that a meeting take place twice a year to review the "target ratio," it was MembershipFirst Board Members who discovered split earnings were not 57%/43% as per contract; the ratio was not being met and had to be corrected. This lack of oversight put our pension plans in jeopardy.

  • A MembershipFirst member was responsible for bringing the Interactive Game negotiations from San Francisco, where they historically had been held at great expense, to Los Angeles where the majority of the games are recorded.


  • MembershipFirst demanded financial reports be given to Board Members in advance of National Board Meetings (Up until then, only shown to Board Members 30 minutes before each meeting.

  • MembershipFirst spearheaded Open Board meetings in LA, making LA the only local to allow member observers at Local Board meetings.


  • MembershipFirst LA Local President did not remove opposition members from L.A. local committees and leadership positions.

  • MembershipFirst, against great opposition from our current leadership, worked successfully with an actress from NY and one from LA to pass the creation of the first Principal Performers’ committee, similar to those for commercials, singers, dancers, stunts, and background performers.

  • National Commercials Performers’ Committee was founded by a MembershipFirst member.


  • MembershipFirst insisted that Background Performers have representation in the TV/Theatrical, Music Video, and Uptown/Nickelodeon negotiations.

  • MembershipFirst National and Local Board Members consistently speak in favor of Background Performer issues at National and Local Board meetings.

  • MembershipFirst supported coverage for BG in music videos.

  • MembershipFirst spearheaded re-establishment of a separate Background Actor Department with a full staff of 7.

  • MembershipFirst spearheaded updating and expanding the Background Digest.

  • MembershipFirst requested rate sheet with pay and allowances of special. contracts (Uptown/Nickelodeon, King St./TV Land, It’s a Laugh, Comedy Central, Net Code/Front of the Book) distributed to Background Actors for the first time.

  • MembershipFirst insisted on strong enforcement of the contracts.

  • MembershipFirst stopped the abuse of the 3-voucher eligibility rule.


  • MembershipFirst fought per Diem and travel violations.

  • MembershipFirst is responsible for the establishment of a separate department for stunt performers.

  • MembershipFirst successfully lobbied for the creation of a stunt FAQ sheet.

Member involvement (L.A.)

  • MembershipFirst LA Local President’s goal of increasing member participation resulted in 311 events (workshops, panels, lectures and outreach) involving 35,000 LA local members.

  • MembershipFirst-led Open Board Committee increased the number of members observing LA Local Board meetings by 31%.

  • MembershipFirst was in the vanguard in raising residuals for Voiceover Actors in animation and prompted the union to establish profit sharing in the Interactive contract.

Health Fair

  • MembershipFirst’s Renee Aubrey founded the Health Fair that serves over 70,000 members.