Spring 2023

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8 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2023 | A Letter from the President "Together, in unity, we march into a new and exciting chapter for all SAG-AFTRA members." The Fran Plan: W e enter into a major contract negotiation June 7, with a won- derful nonpartisan committee of smart, well-informed members who are experts in different areas to fully represent all concerns. Over an unprecedented seven days, we vetted requests from the wages and working conditions sessions held by locals across the nation. Each of us, including our negotiating staff, had a level of understanding about the needs of our members as well as mutual respect for each other that will only help us have greater success. Along with my National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, we are well prepared for these negotiations, and the work we have done simply highlights the importance of making sure these decisions are made without partisanship and looking forward not backwards. I observed a healing and a trust as we each worked to improve the lives of our fellow members. For the first time in many years, there are no new lawsuits! Members have a stronger sense of being heard. Together, in unity, we march into a new and exciting chapter for all SAG-AFTRA members. A chapter that offers numerous fresh ideas and opportunities for service to those who have not yet volunteered. I urge those who have never served before to engage in service now! We are 160,000 strong, representing seven categories, each with their own special needs. In each of these categories, I have come to rely upon "experts" to illuminate the wants and needs of their community. Bringing different groups together is one of my greatest achievements as president. To that end, I'm proud to say Green Council has been launched officially. It pulls together unions, associations and NGOs from all sides of our industry with the goal of advancing eco-responsible entertainment. Under this collaboration, a single environmental issue will be tackled one mission at a time. The required criteria: • Demonstrative on screen. • Practiced on sets. • Doable at home. Our SAG-AFTRA members will use social media to influence viewers to take the Green Council Challenge at home, hence making the effort greater than the sum of its parts. An honor-system reduction of single-use plastics and normalizing reusables will be mission No. 1. A new SAG-AFTRA headquarters in North Hollywood, California, has been purchased. We are the last industry union to make this leap into ownership, but there's no time like the present to diversify our investment portfolio. For many members, this was a long- awaited accomplishment, and I'm glad I could spearhead this goal into fruition. This property has room for us to grow as well as meet our current demands. And with each upgrade, we only increase the value of our assets. It was an overwhelming majority in support of making now the time to invest in our future in this way and, in particular, with this property. Kudos to CFO Arianna Ozzanto, Secretary-Treasurer Joely Fisher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who all worked in harmony to seal the deal. I say with much relief, the nation is out of a state of COVID emergency and the Return to Work Agreement protocols have come to an end. Polarizing positions on how best to navigate through became a major divider for our nation and our union. But we enter a new chapter and all members can now return to work, regardless of their vaccination status. May we all strive towards a cleaner and healthier lifestyle that supports our immune systems so that we can be more resilient to weather the next storm. Remember how precious life is and that time is a limited gift, so live in optimism and an enjoyment of life! Onward and upwards! Fran Drescher F R A N D R E S C H E R

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