Fall/Winter 2010

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A LETTER TO MEMBERS From President KEN HOWARD Dear Member, joint SAG and AFTRA national boards will meet to review the agreement in detail and determine if it should be recommended to members for their approval. As I will tell board members then, I strongly believe this deal should be ratified. Te agreement not only includes wage gains across the contract, but will also provide an urgently I needed and unprecedented increase in employer contributions to our pension and health plans. If the deal is approved, the amount producers pay into our P&H plans under the contract will jump by 10 percent, providing the largest dollar-value increase in 50 years. Tis increase will significantly strengthen our plans now and will continue to benefit actors and their families for decades. Tere are many points to consider and members will have full details of the agreement before voting on approval. Tat said, ratifying this contract will not only give SAG members greater security concerning crucial pension and health benefits, but will also continue our momentum toward an even more far-reaching and necessary change. Along with many other SAG and AFTRA leaders, I’ve been outspoken about the need to form one union. Te recent negotiations have only reinforced my feeling that uniting SAG and AFTRA is the most important step performers can take to protect their future. Te pension and health gains we just achieved are a perfect example: both unions agreed that strengthening the plans was our top priority in these negotiations and we worked with a single vision to make it happen. Had the unions bargained separately—much less with different priorities—the results would have been far less favorable. Te need for performers to be represented by one union that covers all their work is intensifying. Te entertainment industry is wrestling with technological shiſts that have upended other businesses. Tis will continue well into the future, and the next groundbreaking innovation could come at any time. Handling these challenges effectively demands that performers come together with a unified, well-developed strategy that maximizes our leverage. Making sure employers have only one source for professional union talent is essential to achieving this. Te Presidents’ Forum for One Union is working steadily to develop a process to engage SAG and AFTRA members across the country in informational dialogues about their specific concerns and desires for a merged union. Our recent SAG board elections made it clear that members want performers in one union, and I’m extremely pleased that the work to accomplish that goal is under way. As a SAG member, I’m encouraged by the positive steps our Guild is taking. As SAG president, I am proud to work with our extraordinary staff, and grateful to serve alongside our dedicated elected leaders throughout the country. On behalf of them all, I’d like to wish the diverse and dynamic members of Screen Actors Guild a joyous holiday season. In unity, ’m happy to report that aſter six weeks of bargaining, SAG and AFTRA reached a tentative agreement with producers for our TV/Teatrical and Exhibit A contracts. On December 4, the Ken Howard 18 SCREEN ACTOR - Fall/Winter 2010

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