Spring 2015

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20 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2015 | Broadcast News BOB BUTLER MEETS THE PRESIDENT SAG-AFTRA National and San Francisco-Northern California Local Board member Bob Butler and his wife Lois meet with the president and first lady for a White House Christmas reception on Dec. 16. Butler, who serves as president of the National Association of Black Journalists, joined with heads of national news organizations for the celebration. CHUCK KENNEDY BROADCASTERS MEET IN NEW YORK P resident Ken Howard's new engagement initiative took center stage at the Broadcast Steering Committee meeting at the SAG-AFTRA New York offices on March 7. It was the first of three annual meetings scheduled in 2015. The BSC is made up of volunteer broadcast members from locals around the country, and is charged with setting the agenda and handling business for the SAG-AFTRA broadcasters. Much of the focus was on the President's Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement. Howard; Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris; Vice President, Broadcasters Catherine Brown; and other members of the task force presented the purpose, goals and initiatives of the task force, which is designed to educate and unify the membership body. The meeting, chaired by Joe Krebs, began with an extensive update on contract negotiations and organizing given by Chief Broadcast Officer Mary Cavallaro and other News and Broadcast staff members. They reviewed significant wins at the bargaining table for established shops in 2014, as well as huge successes in bringing six new broadcast units under SAG-AFTRA contracts. Cavallaro's report reinforced the fact that SAG-AFTRA is the one organization advocating for our broadcast members across the country. Krebs said the PTEOE is a top priority for broadcast members across the country. "We have to understand that in order to get what we want, we have to know what we're about," he said. "We have to get others involved, and we have to be engaged — fully engaged — in the process." There was also an update on the state of the AFTRA Health and Retirement funds by trustee and broadcaster Shelby Scott. National Executive Director David White, a fellow AFTRA H&R trustee, was also on hand to weigh in on the state of the funds, as well as the ongoing work to merge the AFTRA and SAG health plans. Rounding out the day was leadership training, presented by Philadelphia member and KYW shop steward Jim Donovan, Philadelphia Executive Director Steve Leshinski and organizing staff. Using the President's Task Force as guidance, breakout role-playing exercises were created, including brainstorming how members can handle difficulties at their shops and how to create solidarity and power among the membership. The group reconvened to debrief and share insights from the breakout sessions and committed to bring what they learned back home to their own stations. NEW YORK GOES 'ON AIR' N ew York Local President Mike Hodge and the New York Local Board of Directors hosted a cocktail party for broadcast members from around the country the night before the first Broadcast Steering Committee meeting of 2015. Attended by more than 100 members, as well as national and local staff, the March 6 event was a celebration of broadcast members' contributions to SAG-AFTRA. The event was a chance for members to connect and meet with some of the union's highest leadership, including President Ken Howard, National Executive Director David White and Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris. It was also a chance for the broadcasters to catch up with their colleagues from different markets across the country. SAG-AFTRA National Broadcast Steering Committee Chair Joe Krebs, forefront, addresses cocktail party attendees. Looking on, from left, are New York Local President Mike Hodge, National Executive Director David White, Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris and President Ken Howard. "We have to understand that in order to get what we want, we have to know what we're about. We have to get others involved, and we have to be engaged — fully engaged — in the process." — Joe Krebs MARGARITA CORPORAN CLICK HERE for more photos.

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