Fall 2018

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12 SAG-AFTRA | Fall 2018 | J A N E A U S T I N A Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer "There is no doubt that establishing this list will help create a baseline standard for coordinators and will lead to greater safety on set." My Fellow Brothers and Sisters, I first met my husband, Kurt Lott, years ago on a film set where he was rigging stunts and I was performing them. At the time, I wanted to learn how to rig, so I asked Kurt if I could shadow him for a year. While working for no pay to learn how to become a rigger, I continued as a stunt performer. During that time, not only did I learn how to rig, I was also exposed to a wide variety of different stunts and situations. Those 12 months ultimately made me not only a stunt rigger, but also a better and safer stunt performer. I reflected on that memory when the National Board approved the Stunt Coordinator Standards Eligibility Process at our meeting in October. The program, which will launch in 2020, sets the first-ever professional standard in stunts by allowing prospective and established stunt coordinators to apply for inclusion on SAG-AFTRA's online registry after demonstrating that they have completed 500 working days. It also creates a volunteer mentoring and apprentice stunt coordinator opportunity. Traditionally, hiring of stunt performers is often done through relationships and is not always based on experience or expertise. There is no doubt that a union- issued list will initiate a baseline standard for coordinators, hopefully leading to greater safety on sets. In the months to come, the union will be providing more information regarding this registry and the process for the collection method of days worked. Watch for those notifications, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I want to confirm that this eligibility standard is not a qualification process nor does it prevent any hiring. Stunt performers and coordinators, wherever they reside, will still have the same ability to get hired. The National Board was very careful to take all local hires into consideration in the guidelines. The new initiative is simply an effort to establish baseline standards and improve overall safety with regard to stunts. It was a huge step for SAG-AFTRA to take and I am proud that we, as a union, have shown leadership on this issue. On the financial side, I have more good news to report. For the ninth straight quarter, we are tracking ahead of projections on income and below on expenses. And as I mentioned in my last letter, we have hired a number of additional staff — and are still ahead on budget. I know we have all seen some market fluctuations recently. But we are keeping a close eye on our investment portfolio and taking great precautions should there be a downturn. Another area where we are showing leadership is in commercials. We have seen for years that companies are skirting their contractual obligations by using third- party signatories to shoot non-union spots. Bartle Bogle Hegarty LLC, a company signed to SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contracts for almost 20 years, is refusing to honor its legal obligations by shooting non-union. As you know, the SAG-AFTRA National Board declared a strike against BBH in protest. I am very grateful to the nearly 1,000 of my fellow union members who joined me in taking action and rallying in front of BBH's Los Angeles office in September. If there was one takeaway for BBH and the rest of the advertising industry, it is that we are united and strong in demanding the hiring of SAG-AFTRA members in commercials. I implore all of you to keep that same energy up a cross the country, as this is a long-term fight for our union. In closing, as we approach the holiday season, I want to wish you and your family all the best wishes for a joyous and prosperous 2019. In solidarity, Jane Austin

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