Spring 2015

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10 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2015 | A Letter from the National Executive Director D AV I D W H I T E "Your union has just moved through another remarkable period of capacity-building and success." Dear Member, W e recently celebrated the three-year anniversary of SAG-AFTRA as a merged entity, and I am pleased to report that your union has just moved through another remarkable period of capacity-building and success. Since the publication of my last letter, we have accomplished the following milestones: • Negotiated successfully two national contracts (Network Television Code and Corporate/Educational), each with positive, expanded benefits for our members; • Embarked on the President's Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement, an energetic nationwide campaign to engage and educate our members in all 25 SAG-AFTRA locals about the power of your union and collective action; • Established a leadership position in a major multiyear initiative with the White House and our friends at the American Film Institute to mentor and develop the next generation of professional storytellers (future members!); • Hosted our second exclusive event for SAG-AFTRA members at YouTube Studios, this time in its newly opened studio in New York City (after doing a similar event in Los Angeles previously); • Hosted a bipartisan legislative event with multiple partners in the musicFIRST Coalition to introduce the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015, which would establish for the first time in our nation's history a performance right for artists on AM/FM radio; • Celebrated a dedication ceremony for the historic building that houses our headquarter office in Los Angeles, which is now named SAG-AFTRA Plaza; • Participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the SAG Foundation's new Actors Center in New York, prominently located on 54th Street between 7th and 8th avenues, which will open to members in early 2016; and • Completed our fiscal year with a financial surplus and adopted a budget for next year, with another surplus anticipated (all extra money increases our reserve funds). In addition to the above, at the time of this printing, SAG-AFTRA is embarking upon the largest organizing initiative in the history of our union (and of either legacy union). The Commercials Organizing and Recapture Initiative will help to ensure the next generation of commercials produced on any platform — network television, basic cable, new media, local broadcast or radio — are union and made under a SAG-AFTRA contract. If you haven't already, we invite you to visit our website and review the online toolkit available for your review and use. These materials were produced by members who work this contract and are designed to help members find ways to be involved in this essential effort. During this period, your union has also continued to perform the excellent work that drives our operations each day. We have worked with members, agents, managers and employers to resolve problems before they erupt into formal claims. When that fails, we have filed claims to ensure the proper enforcement of our contract provisions. We have organized more work for our members in the area of audiobooks, broadcast news and new media entertainment projects, among others. We have delivered residual checks to members in a timely manner. This fall, following member elections across the country, hundreds of SAG-AFTRA delegates will convene in Los Angeles to reconnect with one another, learn more about the significant initiatives underway and help the union plan for the next two years. It will be our second convention as a merged union and we are all looking forward to it. This is an exciting time for SAG-AFTRA. Whether you become engaged through the President's Task Force, participate in our commercials organizing initiative or find some other way to contribute to the protection of your work and livelihood, we encourage each of you to become involved! In unity and looking forward, David White

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