Spring 2013

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Letters from the Co-Presidents K E N H OWA RD "he heart and soul of SAG-AFTRA must always be the protection of our members and their work." Dear Member, D uring my years as Screen Actors Guild president, and now in my role as co-president of SAG-AFTRA, I've been fortunate to share many successes with you. As someone who has experienced the rigors of leading a major contract negotiation, I know irsthand how much efort it requires from elected leaders, expert staf and selless member volunteers. So it is with respect, thanks and a big smile that I share another piece of good news: the irst SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contracts await your vote of approval. It's a great package and I couldn't be more pleased to ask you to join me and the entire SAG-AFTRA National Board in voting yes. As you review the details, you'll see it is an impressive deal that puts real gains into the pockets of SAG-AFTRA members across the country. his relects the tireless work and dedication of the entire negotiating team. Negotiating Committee Chair and Co-President Roberta Reardon, along with Vice Chairs Ilyssa Fradin, David Hartley-Margolin, Allen Lulu, Sue-Anne Morrow and the rest of the remarkable member committee, considered the needs of members who do this mainstay work every step of the process. It's a terriic example of your fellow union members giving their time and energy to improve opportunities for all of us. We all owe a tremendous debt of thanks to our exceptional professional staf, 6 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2013 | led by National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White. David, along with Co-Lead Negotiators Ray Rodriguez and Mathis Dunn, and Senior Advisor John McGuire, brought decades of combined experience to bear in this negotiation, and the results speak for themselves. I couldn't be more grateful for the wisdom these seasoned professionals bring to their work. I've worked alongside each of them and have seen their unlagging commitment to better all our lives. I can assure you that we are extremely fortunate to have them ighting on our behalf. While I am pleased to share such good news with you, I also need to address a more challenging topic. At its April meeting, the SAG-AFTRA National Board approved a iscal year 2014 budget that anticipates a strategic restructuring of our operations. he plan corrects a structural deicit between revenue and expenses of roughly $6 million dollars relating to pre-merger legacy costs of the prior organizations. his was a diicult but necessary step. Sound operating principles, iscal resiliency and long-term sustainability are essential if SAG-AFTRA is going to fulill its promise to provide strong representation, like the just-negotiated commercials contracts, and efective member services far into the future. he plan calls for us to consolidate operations by closing 10 of our 25 oices nationwide. We will also reduce some staf positions across the country starting in early May. his is perhaps the most diicult aspect of the plan. I think it is clear how much I respect and value the dedication of those who have made it their job to ight for us. Saying goodbye to any of them is hard, even when it is a matter of ensuring that we can engage our mission with greater eiciency and efectiveness. As for our oice closures — another diicult decision — I'd like to share something my good friend and fellow National Board member Conrad Palmisano said as the board deliberated taking this step. Connie is a greatly respected stuntman, and he ofered, "For more than 30 years, I have done ilms from the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming to the wilds of Canada to the biblical city of Macedonia — none of which had a union rep, let alone a building. But my contract, along with everyone else's, was enforced to the letter. In the end, what we do as performers and what we provide as a union isn't about bricks and mortar … it's about heart and soul." he heart and soul of SAG-AFTRA must always be the protection of our members and their work. hat is my commitment to you as we travel the road ahead together. In unity Ken Howard

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