Spring 2019

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6 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2019 | J A N E A U S T I N A Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer "The combination of a healthy surplus and a strong portfolio has made it possible for us to make significant advances." technology and innovation. You saw this with the launch of the new website and member app, along with the recent launch of direct deposit for all members. SAG-AFTRA is working with Google to utilize its cutting-edge technology to assist with the identification of potential claims, and we are continuing to have talks with the industry about securing electronic data exchanges and vetting processes where opportunities exist to support organizing and enforcement. Additionally, we have begun rolling out QR code check-in at events, which will help us enhance our programming for all members. We are also in discussion with industry players about using the software on sets — so stay tuned for more announcements. At SAG-AFTRA, we are embracing change in the industry. With conglomerate mergers and acquisitions, the landscape is ever-changing. New platforms and delivery systems are burgeoning. As such, our contracts must adapt to ensure that union members are afforded wages and protections no matter the platform. Our new Commercials Contracts are innovative and reap gains across the board for all members, while making it possible for covered work to be recaptured. Dear Member, A s your secretary-treasurer, I am pleased to report that SAG-AFTRA is financially strong. Under the excellent guidance of National Executive Director David White, CFO Arianna Ozzanto, our knowledgeable finance staff and Finance Committee, this is the 11th quarter where income has tracked above budget and expenses are down. Union investments are up and have recovered nicely from the downturn in the market in December of last year. Since first taking office, I have seen steady gains in our portfolio over the past years. The combination of a healthy surplus and a strong portfolio has made it possible for us to make significant advances. Last year, we were able to add much- needed staff to ensure optimal member services, claims and administration. Local offices in Atlanta, Hawaii, Washington- Mid Atlantic, Nashville, Chicago and Los Angeles have been repaired, upgraded and, in some cases, relocated to better serve you. As I am writing this, new offices are being secured for Seattle and San Francisco-Northern California. The union has also invested in The addition of tech companies Apple and Amazon to the AMPTP is a game- changer. These new players in the industry are not familiar with our needs or, in some cases, even with unions in general. But it is our responsibility to work with them to get the best deal done for our membership. I encourage all members to share their experiences and suggestions during the upcoming TV/Theatrical wages and working conditions process so that we are the best prepared we can be going into those crucial talks. Most notably, we enter our TV/ Theatrical negotiations with a healthy surplus. One thing that has not changed is the solidarity and collective powers of SAG-AFTRA members. I encourage you to stay engaged and stay involved. In closing, let me wish all members a great start to the summer season. In solidarity, Jane Austin

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