Summer 2022

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Page 12 of 73 | Summer 2022 | SAG-AFTRA 9 A Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer Fellow Members of SAG-AFTRA, T he longer days of summer, which would normally push us outdoors to embrace a great bounty of early-morning to late-night celebrations, also illuminate a landscape filled with great possibilities and challenges we will face, as individuals and as a union, in the months and years to come. Put simply, democracy and the planet is at stake. The opportunities and dangers were clear in the space of just one week. In June, in my capacity as your secretary- treasurer, I was privileged to attend the AFL-CIO convention. I came away from the convention inspired by the commitment and strategies debated and adopted to organize workers and strengthen workplace democracy. I was thrilled to witness the election of Elizabeth Shuler to be the first woman to lead the AFL-CIO and the elevation of Fred Redmond to be the first African American to serve as AFL-CIO secretary- treasurer, both choices that signal to all workers that change is afoot. Then, one week later, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade; the Court has also undermined voting rights, predominately for people of color. For the first time, constitutional rights that were part of the fabric of society for half a century were ripped away from millions of Americans, shaking the foundation of our democratic rights. It also confronted the union with a very important workplace issue: Now that the right to reproductive health care will be fought over in individual states, what happens to an actor who needs an urgent D&C and finds themself working on set, for example, in Georgia, where such a procedure may soon be criminalized? Our union must raise our voice and deploy our power state by state to protect every actor's right to make individual health care decisions. Every contract gain we achieve, however small, is a further step to asserting our democratic rights at work. We made strides in two recently negotiated contracts, the Commercials Contracts and the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, also known as the Network Television Code. Both contracts passed with overwhelming support from the Board and the membership. The looming negotiations over the extremely important TV/Theatrical Contract present challenges to democratic rights, whether it's fair pay or working conditions. Hundreds of members have decried the spread of self-taping. Unregulated self-taping is an industry demand that we perform unpaid labor. We must negotiate, codify and then enforce reasonable standards for self-taping that stops the exploitation of actors. Within the SAG-AFTRA National Board, we are weighing the inter- relationship between the future of the planet and our financial security. We are looking very closely at whether we can divest from fossil fuel-related stocks without eroding the strength of members' retirement money. As a mother of five children and a grandmother to four, I value both the health of the planet and the importance of a secure retirement. The financial deliberations that come to my desk, my work on your behalf, benefits from a strong working relationship with SAG-AFTRA's chief financial officer, Arianna Ozzanto. I was very pleased to be in attendance when Arianna was recognized recently as a superstar in her field, notching a finalist spot in the Education/Nonprofit category for chief financial officers at the industry- leading 2022 CFO Leadership Awards. In service and solidarity, Joely Fisher J O E LY F I S H E R "Every contract gain we achieve, however small, is a further step to asserting our democratic rights at work."

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