Spring 2013

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R OB ER TA R E AR DON "his negotiation was profoundly diferent because, for the irst time, we sat at the bargaining table as one union." Dear SAG-AFTRA Sisters and Brothers, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." — Henry David horeau T he irst year of SAG-AFTRA is under our belt and we have a lot to celebrate, as well as relect on. It's not been the easiest of roads traveled, but what we did on March 30, 2012 created a powerful future for us — together as one union. I'm pleased to report — as national chair of the 2013 Commercials Negotiating Committee — one of our irst major milestones was negotiating the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract and SAG-AFTRA Radio Recorded Commercials Contract. We now look to you — our members — to ratify this new contract. I started my negotiating experience in 1997 as a member of the commercials negotiating committee and I have participated in every such negotiation since then. his negotiation was profoundly diferent because, for the irst time, we sat at the bargaining table as one union. We did not sit as two separate unions — divided by geographic areas or political agendas. We sat as one in the room so that we could come back to the membership with a contract that protected every local and every market nationwide. I am conident that this is the irst of many more experiences like that. his negotiation was a Herculean efort. We're facing real challenges in this part of the industry. here is a growing force of skilled, unorganized workers available to do non-union work. hat fact creates extra pressure on us as we bargain with our employers. But even in this environment, we came away from the table with a deal that is one of the strongest contracts we've had in commercials for more than a decade. And the unanimous vote by the National Board to approve it and send it to all members for a vote speaks volumes. I started this message of with the words of Henry David horeau — a quote that is as simple as it is complex, just like SAG-AFTRA. In the months ater merger, our staf and elected members from both local and national boards started the process of transition. We merged local boards, oices, departments and committees. Like every newly merged organization, there have been growing pains and diicult decisions that have to be made. In assessing our inances and our mission, we realized we were not positioned to succeed. he fact is, we have to restructure this union. We have made the diicult decision to close 10 of our local oices and lay of 60 staf members. his is cutting into muscle, but it is necessary for our union so we can focus on our core priorities: organizing work, enforcing contracts, negotiating those contracts and making sure members get paid. Please understand how diicult this decision was for us. But we must husband our resources in order to do the great work you have asked us to do. Just as our commercials negotiating committee worked as one for the good of all, we must take these steps to ensure our union can grow. I look forward to shaping that future together. We are entering a historic period for our union. he irst election for oicers and local and national board members, as well as convention delegates, will take place and the inaugural national convention in Los Angeles in September is set. Member service to the union is an integral part of what makes us strong. It is not easy and there are sacriices one makes as a leader, but it is one of the most important roles a member can play in SAG-AFTRA. Consider running. It can change your life. In solidarity, Roberta Reardon | Spring 2013 | SAG-AFTRA 7

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