Summer 2010

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ON LOCATION NEW YORK DIVISION In My Opinion: Mike Hodge 2nd National Vice President Dear Screen Actors Guild Member, O ne of the most important things a guild or union does is negotiate contracts. And right now the Screen Actors Guild is in the middle of preparing to negotiate our Teatrical Contract and, along with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, our Network Television Contract. If you didn’t participate in the five-week Wages and Working Conditions process in which each union invited each of its constituent members to tell us what your burning desires for the contracts are, then you missed an opportunity. If you don’t tell us, we won’t know. On the other hand, if you did participate and your pet peeve still doesn’t make it to the table, well, there could be lots of reasons. Our staff is constantly researching issues, finding out if they have been brought to the table before, and if so, what the results were, or discovering whether or not the issue at hand has a resonance for a substantial portion of constituents. Aſter the caucus process closes out, each Division, along with our partner AFTRA, has a joint plenary where we bring each of the Division’s proposal ideas together and mold them into what we believe is a reasonable and smart proposal package. Aſter that, the Negotiating Team moves into preparatory mode to be made ready to sit across the table from the AMPTP and get what your Guild and union believes is the smartest, best and most effective contract possible. Tis year already, we are way ahead of where we were two and a half years ago when we went in alone. I remember the very first face-to-face plenary I ever attended. It was the fall of 2001. It was the first as well for our new CEO, Bob Pisano, who was formerly the COO at MGM. Early in his opening remarks to us he said, “I don’t understand why you and AFTRA have not merged. I’ll be quite frank: all the studios ever do is play you against each other, trying to get the best deal for themselves. And until you become one union, it’ll be a constant race to the bottom.” It was so clear to me then, but it has seriously crystallized for me over the last two years. Tis negotiation is a great first step in that direction, but none of us who work in front of a camera or microphone will ever really be safe until we have resolved with finality our relationship with our sister AFTRA. Tat resolution is our hopeful next step. Mike Hodge membership meeting on May 24 at the DGA Teater. Te meeting took place a short time aſter the announcement had been made that the original Law & Order was being cancelled aſter 20 years on the air. It was noted that during its run the show had employed nearly 6,000 individual actors as principals and nearly 15,000 as background. New York Executive SPRING MEETING T he New York Division held its spring Director Jae Je Simmons quoted the latest production statistics and introduced Associate National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity Adam Moore, who reported on several recent events, including a screening of the documentary Reel Injun, the “VintAGE” Celebration sponsored by the New York Coalition of Professional Women in Arts and Media at Symphony Space, and a panel with agents and casting directors specifically for senior performers. One of the highlights of the meeting was the celebration Avis Boone and Women’s Committee National Co-Chair leslie Shreve of the SAG Foundation’s 25th anniversary, which included screenings of Behind the Masks: Te Story of the Screen Actors Guild and 25th Anniversary. Presentations were made by Maria Cabezas, the NY BookPALS coordinator, who rallied the crowd to volunteer and introduced the audience to the PencilPALS program, and Franz Reynold, who gave information on NYCAP, Conversations, LifeRaſt and the SAG Foundation Short Film Showcase. A regular feature of the New York membership meetings is the presentation of the Joseph C. Riley Award, given to members who have shown dedicated and faithful service on a particular committee. Tis year’s recipients were Avis Boone, recognized for her work on behalf of the Women’s Committee, and Jim Murtaugh, recognized for his service on several major contract negotiating committees. Jim Brown from Te Actors Fund was on hand to deliver a detailed presentation of how the recently passed federal health care reform package would affect union members. Tis was followed by the presentation of a New York Production Alliance video about how incentives impact not just actors but hundreds of crew and ancillary workers in the entertainment industry. Te video can be viewed on the New York Production Alliance website, Please join us at the Fall Membership Meeting on Monday, November 1, 2010. 28 SCREEN ACTOR - Summer 2010 Richard Baldwin

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