JaneAustin SAGAFTRA

AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM JANE AUSTIN

SAG-AFTRA National Union Secretary/Treasurer

Los Angeles Local President

To my fellow Union Members,

Unfortunately you are getting inundated with campaign literature and differing opinions on the currently proposed 2017 TV/Theatrical Contract, with the voting due date this coming Monday August 7th.

I am here to assist you with the convoluted issues by educating you, in your decision-making process.

MembershipFirst has created a Minority Report for transparency, as well as Candidate Statements, a Voter’s Guide and Videos in the best interests of ALL Union Members, and I agree wholeheartedly.

You are encouraged to visit http://www.membershipfirst.com/ for information that clearly substantiates a NO vote to the above referenced Contract, if you have not already voted.

Please let me remind you that we are one Union, SAG-AFTRA.

Since the issues at hand are diametrically opposed by Unite for Strength (UFS) I will outline the reality of the proposals:

 

RESIDUALS

Take a look at your own residuals and decide if they are adequate. We need to do better. Made-for-Cable residuals and Pay Cable residuals are unlivable. These two platforms combined make up 45% our work, yet no progress has been made to improve these residual formulas because no attempt has been made. 
UFS falsely claims that their number one objective is to “increase our residuals.”

 

TRAVEL PROVISIONS

This proposal affects TELEVISION only. Regarding this hot-button issue, our negotiating committee was sent in with a specific directive: Disavow the practices surrounding Producers Base which compromises our decades-long, hard-fought and won location provisions and protections. Instead, our current leadership codified exactly what they were directed to disavow.
Series Regulars who have to relocate to Producers Base, which can now be anywhere in the World (not just Toronto and Vancouver as UFS insists), are treated as local hires, thus eliminating many past location protections. No longer are they considered on Location, nor their time counted as Portal-to-Portal, it is now Set-to-Set. Producers Base as defined in this contract, is any location where the majority of principal photography takes place. The only time that a performer will receive Portal-to Portal time provisions is on an overnight location.
UFS has been insisting that we still have Portal-to-Portal.

MembershipFirst has always been about protecting the Series Performers time-honored 12-hour turn-around. Because your work time will be calculated from Set-to-Set, your travel from either your hotel or rental house will not be counted as work time. For example, if you have an hour drive to and from the set, you will have a 10-hour turn-around. These new proposed travel provisions will hurt everyone, because every single member of the crew and service personnel tees off of the Actor’s call. This will be dangerous. This is a safety issue.

UFS claims that they will “ensure safety for all actors, stunt performers and coordinators.”

Travel Time is Work Time

In our Codified Basic Agreement, Section 32 (K), when you travel for a day to a location you would be paid a minimum Day Rate of currently $933.00. This new deal will compromise another provision and lower the $933.00 Day Rate to $500.00.

A postcard sent from SAG-AFTRA was entitled, “THE TRUTH ABOUT TRAVEL.”

One section includes "An end to loophole abuse by producers.” The current application of the travel rules to episodic television is rife with ambiguity, which opened the door to abuse. The new agreement clarifies and creates clearly understood travel rules which is a plus for members.

This new agreement erodes Travel Time is Work Time, and codifies Set-to-Set for Series Performers at Producers Base. This has BEEN the abuse that performers have suffered!

There is nothing ambiguous in Section 32 (K). The Guild has failed to enforce the agreements and have instead codified them!

 

LOS ANGELES INFORMATIONAL MEETING – Sunday July 16, 2017

National Board President Gabrielle Carteris allowed members to speak at microphones with ten (10) minutes left at the end of the meeting, upon the insistence of the members. No microphones were provided before this time, disallowing Presidential candidate Esai Morales to speak along with many other members.

UFS claims “We depend on members like you for valuable input. We listen to ALL members and are constantly working to strengthen the ways we serve you."

 

PENSION PLAN
You have been promised a merged Pension Plans of both SAG and AFTRA, yet they are so different that merging them would be virtually impossible. Five years into our merger and your pension earnings are still split between SAG and AFTRA. As an example, you can have a $25,000/$30,000 year and still not qualify for a pension credit in either Plan, because your earnings are split between the SAG contract and the AFTRA contract.

UFS falsely claims that they are going to expedite “safe merger of the pension plans.”

 

PENSION

MembershipFirst feels very strongly that there must be an investigation into the vast difference between Member Pension and our Staff’s Pension. We are both in the same Plan yet our Staff’s Pension is far superior to our Members.

MembershipFirst is bringing to light the inequities:

Staff Pension Accrual rate is 3.5%; Member Pension Accrual rate is 2.0%.

Staff can retire at full pension at age 55.

SAG Pension Plan participants must take a 30% cut at 55.

Aftra Retirement Plan participants must take a 60% cut at 55.

MembershipFirst does not want our Staff to get less. We just want equality.

 

RENTING THE SAG-AFTRA LOS ANGELES OFFICE
MembershipFirst is mystified that we are still RENTING our office in Los Angeles to the tune of approximately $5 Million Dollars, per year.

The WGA, DGA and Actor’s Equity all own their offices in Los Angeles.

STRIKE

MembershipFirst believes that having a strike authorization in our back pocket going into a negotiation strengthens, not weakens, us.

We have ALWAYS had a strike authorization in hand going into a major negotiation. NOT NOW..

HEALTH PLAN

When 300 Early Retirees were summarily thrown off the Health Plan with 90 days’ notice, it was MembershipFirst people who took up the cause and helped these people through a terrible situation. Most Members had preexisting, chronic or catastrophic conditions.

The Trustees knew 3 MONTHS EARLIER than the rest of the Union Members that this Change was going to take effect …And postponed the bad news until after that year’s election.

 

MembershipFirst is highly concerned about the deep philosophical differences dividing the National Board.

 

Once again, please visit MembershipFirst.com for proof of our value of transparency.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MembershipFirst

 

We work to protect every Member of our Union; this is a Basic Agreement, after all.

In Solidarity,

Jane Austin

SAG-AFTRA National Secretary-Treasurer
SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles President

 

Please Vote for the MembershipFirst Slate:

National President

04. ESAI MORALES

National Secretary/Treasurer

08. JANE AUSTIN

Los Angeles Local President

03. JANE AUSTIN

Los Angeles Local Vice Presidents – Can Pick 2

04. DAVID JOLLIFFE

07. PATRICIA RICHARDSON

Los Angeles Local Board Members - 41 Actor/Performer Seats

11. FRANCES FISHER

13. HANK GARRETT

16. MARC GESCHWIND

19. PAMELA GUEST

20. RICHARD HADFIELD

21. BRIAN HAMILTON

22. LINDA HARCHARIC

24. SAMANTHA HARTSON

25. MICHAEL HAWLEY

26. CUPID HAYES

27. LOUIS HERTHUM*

28. JENNAE HOWING

33, DAVID JOLLIFFE

34. MATT KAVANAUGH

38. DAN LAURIA*

39. DONNA LEAVY

40. JOANNA LEEDS

44. KURT LOTT

46. ANTHONY MARCIONA

47. RICH MARKMAN

51. MATTHEW MODINE

53. ESAI MORALES

58. PEGGY LANE O'ROURKE

59. RON OSTROW

63. PATRICIA RICHARDSON

64. ROBIN RIKER

65. BRADY ROMBERG

67. DONNA RUSSO

71. SHAAN SHARMA

72. MARTIN SHEEN

73. DAVID SOBOLOV

77. JONATHAN TAYLOR THOMAS

85. JANE AUSTIN

87. MICHAEL BELL

88. TREVOR BRUNSINK

95. DAVID CLENNON

97. JOE D'ANGERIO

100. SUSIE DUFF

102. CAROLE ELLIOTT

104. DEBBIE EVANS

105. GREG EVIGAN

National Board - 15 Actor/Performer Seats

113. MARC GESCHWIND

114. PAMELA GUEST

116. CUPID HAYES

117. LOUIS HERTHUM*

125. DAN LAURIA*

128. MATTHEW MODINE

129. ESAI MORALES

133. ROBIN RIKER

134. SHAAN SHARMA

135. MARTIN SHEEN

137. JONATHAN TAYLOR THOMAS

142. JANE AUSTIN

145. DAVID CLENNON

148. DEBBIE EVANS

149. GREG EVIGAN

Stunts - Can only pick one

152. GREGG SMRZ *

Delegates

156. DANIEL RAY FETTERLY

157. CATHY FIELDING

162. HANK GARRETT

166. MARC C. GESCHWIND

167. ELLIOT GHERTNER

171. PAMELA GUEST

172. RICHARD HADFIELD

173. BRIAN HAMILTON

175. LINDA HARCHARIC

177. SAMANTHA HARTSON

178. MICHAEL HAWLEY

179. CUPID HAYES

181. JACK E. HERMAN

182. LOUIS HERTHUM*

185. JENNAE HOVING

193. KIMBERLY ABLES JINDRA

199. MATT KAVANAUGH

201. MOBIN KHAN

209. STEVE LANZA

211. DAN LAURIA*

214. DONNA LYNN LEAVY

215. PAUL LECLAIR

216. JOANNA LEEDS

222. KURT LOTT

224. DOUGLAS MAIDA

226. ANTHONY MARCIONA

228. RICK MARKMAN

239. MATTHEW MODINE

242. ESAI MORALES

248. GAYE NELSON

252. RICHARD OLMSTED

253. PEGGY LANE OROURKE

254. RON OSTROW

259. LAUREN PETERSON

268. ROBIN RIKER

273. DONNA M RUSSO

278. NICOLE SHANAHAN

279. SHAAN SHARMA

280. MARTIN SHEEN

283. DAVID SLATTERY

284. CHALENE SLOAN

285. DAVID SOBOLOV

289. ARNE STARR

291. SCOTT STEWART

294. JASON STUART

300. GJ TIARI

302. SEAN TOMAZIN

318. LYNNANNE ZAGER

320. JENNIFER LYNN ANDERSEN

326. JEFF AUSTIN

328. STEVE BARR

330. MICHAEL BELL

335. MICHELLE C. BONILLA

338. STEVEN H. BOZAJIAN

342. MICHAEL PATRICK BRUEN

343. TREVOR BRUNSINK

346. JENNIFER H CALDWELL

351. CORINNA CECHI

355. DAVID PAUL CHRISTIAN

356. CYNTHIA LEA CLARK

358. DAVID CLENNON

361. STEVEN JOHN COHEN

367. JOE D’ANGERIO

369. JOAN DEL MAR

371. DENNIS DEPEW

374. SUSIE DUFF

377. CATHERINE EADS

380. CAROLE ELLIOTT

383. GREG EVIGAN

Stunts

399. DEBBIE EVANS

* Denotes Independents that Membership First Endorses who are not running on our slate.

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