Spring 2019

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68 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2019 | In Memoriam NYPR Innovative New Commercials Contracts Await Member Approval TODD HISSONG, a former SAG Chicago Branch President, passed away March 8 at the age of 64. Hissong had a prolific theatrical career in Detroit and worked extensively in local television, earning eight nominations and three local Emmys. In Chicago, he co-founded the Aspect Theatre Co., which presented 19 Equity staged readings in its 2½ years of activity. The actor voiced many commercials as well as audiobooks of the New and Old testaments. On camera, he appeared as a murderer on America's Most Wanted, in commercials and scores of industrial films and on the TNT television series Low Winter Sun. He devoted much of his time to serving his fellow union members. Aside from serving as local president for six years, from 2002- 13, Hissong served on numerous national committees, including the Commercial Performers, Executive, Performers with Disabilities, Voiceover and Commercial Negotiating committees, just to name a few. Hissong also served five years as a SAG National Board member and, after the SAG and AFTRA merger in 2012, took a seat on the newly formed National Board. Outside of the union, Hissong was most proud of his work with the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disabilities, on whose behalf he produced two advocacy pieces: A Question of Caring and Winning Together - Helping Kids Help Themselves. expanding the unit, both SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio recognized the historic nature of the agreements. "This agreement goes to the heart of SAG-AFTRA's mission of advocating for media professionals working in today's gig economy. The fact that this agreement was successfully achieved in a timely manner speaks to the collaborative work of our union and NYPR as partners. We're excited to extend the New York Public Radio family and welcome the new members to the union," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. "We value our partnership with SAG-AFTRA and are pleased that we were able to quickly reach this agreement with the union," said Laura Walker, then-president and CEO of New York Public Radio. "Today's agreement shows our commitment to our temporary and per diem workforce, and the importance of their contributions to the overall success of our organization." The full agreement was unanimously ratified by the bargaining unit on March 29. Continues from page 25 Continues from page 36 and retirement/pension plans estimated at $22.2 million. • Protections against sexual harassment. • Coverage of stunt coordinators. • Outsized gains to group dancers. • Streamlined and improved renegotiation process for commercial agents representing SAG-AFTRA members. • Alternative compensation structure for the Audio Contract features improved session rates and radically simplified use fees that better position the union to grow work opportunities. The members of the Negotiating Committee prepared for more than two years to negotiate a transformative agreement that represents a real step forward for members in this space. The team brought passion, diligence and an aggressive pursuit of members' interests to this negotiation to ensure future growth of commercial work for all performers. In the most important negotiations in a generation, the committee developed innovative solutions to the challenges facing the advertising industry with an agreement that makes the Commercials Contracts more relevant to the industry now and into the future. It is a monumental advancement in growing the union's jurisdiction. Also crucial to the outcome was input of members during the wages and working conditions meetings, as well as staff preparation. Upon ratification by the membership, these new agreements will become effective April 1, 2019, and will remain in force through March 31, 2022. The new contracts will include increases in minimum rates retroactive to April 1, 2019, and payable within 30 days of ratification. The new Upfront Use Packages will be available on June 1, 2019. All eligible members were mailed a postcard on April 17, 2019 with instructions and a PIN number on how to vote online or how to request a paper ballot. If necessary, you can retrieve your PIN number at the voting website by clicking "Find My PIN." If you do not wish to vote online, you may request a paper ballot by calling Integrity Voting Systems toll free at (844) 798-3760 before noon PDT on Friday, May 3, 2019, and a paper ballot package will be mailed to you. The deadline for all ballots to be received, whether submitted online or by mail, is 5 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. In addition to the referendum packages that were sent to members, the union scheduled informational meetings April 23–25 in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and via webinar. Please email if you have questions, or call (323) 549-6653. Vote yes today at

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