Summer 2021

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10 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2021 | A Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer Dear Fellow Member, W hile there are still precautions to be taken, our industry is emerging from the COVID-19 shutdown. As this issue of the magazine goes to press, our new national executive director, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, just concluded negotiations with the industry on modifications to the COVID-19 return-to-work safety protocols — another step in returning to normalcy in our challenging COVID-19 journey. Even in these dark times, there is good news. Despite the continued impact of the pandemic, total SAG-AFTRA jobs and earnings hit a new record high in the first four months of this year. Between January and April 2021, aggregate SAG-AFTRA earnings totaled $1.5 billion, the highest amount ever for a comparable time period. During the same period, total SAG-AFTRA-covered jobs across contracts was 319,000, which is also a record high for the time period. This growth was enabled by the return- to-work protocols and was fueled by the gains made in last year's TV/Theatrical Contract, the ongoing commercials recapture campaign, and robust market demand for streaming entertainment and advertising. Throughout the challenges of a global pandemic, union members continued to pay their dues in higher numbers than expected. New members continued to join the union and pay their initiation fees in higher numbers than expected. Because of your commitment to the union and each other, SAG-AFTRA was able to safeguard resources, strengthen operations and manage expenses, ensuring sufficient surpluses to carry us through this once-in-a-century global pandemic. Life is a never-ending surprise. When I became secretary-treasurer in 2019, no one knew a global pandemic would hit. No one imagined that the union would be navigating these rough waters. It was uncharted territory for everyone, but we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Union officials are not infectious disease specialists, but we worked with people who are specialists and helped create the safety protocols that kept people alive and on the job. SAG-AFTRA staff members are not specialists in state unemployment, but they helped secure pandemic unemployment assistance for members across the country. The union also lobbied for government subsidies for COBRA insurance and family support during this period of instability. It has been a long battle to achieve widespread vaccinations, and there are troubling variants on the horizon, but the union helped create the industry-leading Return to Work Agreement that allowed us to get back to work. All of these efforts ensured that the union would move forward effectively in a time of crisis. And that is perhaps one of the most important lessons of the past 18 months: SAG-AFTRA is ready for anything. I am so proud of this finance team. Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto and her staff are devoted to maintaining the union's strong financial position. In fact, throughout the organization, the professional staff is the heart of SAG-AFTRA. Their dedication to the best interests of the membership is evident in the results they achieve. SAG-AFTRA's union volunteers and staff deserve and have the utmost respect, admiration and full-hearted appreciation for seeing us through this time. Having watched it from the inside, I have more faith in our union and our future than ever before. I thank them all and I thank you, the membership. We could not have done it without all of you. Friends, it has been an honor to serve the members as SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer. I am proud of the work we did together to steer this ship to safe harbor. The tremendous efforts of the union, as it rallied in this time of terrible crisis, reaffirmed my faith in SAG-AFTRA, our incredible staff and our extraordinary membership. With gratitude and confidence in our union, I wish you well. Camryn Manheim C A M R Y N M A N H E I M "It has been an honor to serve the members as SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer. I am proud of the work we did together."

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