Fall/Winter 2010

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ON LOCATION HOLLYWOOD DIVISION In My Opinion: Ned Vaughn 1st National Vice President that I’m an actor who supports a large family. Te public receives endless information about famous performers and their equally famous lifestyles. But when people meet an actor who’s not a celebrity, they’re curious to know how it works in “real” life. It’s a question I enjoy answering, because it gives me a chance “H to talk about the unique rewards and challenges of being an actor. Many are surprised when I mention the role unions have played in my success. Without SAG and AFTRA, it’s unlikely I’d still be a professional actor, much less one supporting a family. Tere are many benefits of union membership, but two fundamental protections are access to affordable health care and the ability to build a secure pension. Tose protections may not seem very exciting compared with the glamorous, creative side of our business, but you’d be hard pressed to find a career performer who doesn’t depend on them. Virtually all actors face long periods without work —but that doesn’t change the need for oſten expensive medical care for ourselves or families. For the same reason, most actors find it next to impossible to put away adequate retirement savings. If it weren’t for our employer-funded pension and health plans, many of us couldn’t afford a career in this wonderful but challenging business. Tat’s why the gains of our recent joint contract negotiations are so important. If the tentative agreement is approved, employer contributions to our pension and health plans will rise to an industry-leading 16.5 percent. Tat represents the largest dollar value increase under the TV & Film contracts since the plans were established in 1960. As SAG President Ken Howard said, “We’ve reached a deal that will protect our essential pension and health benefits for years to come.” Even with this historic increase, our plans will need to focus on managing costs—but without the increase, they will be forced to make painful adjustments to the economic realities they are facing. Whether that means reducing benefits or raising eligibility requirements—or both—those are changes that no performer wants to see. Te other contract gains, and all remaining terms of the agreement, will be presented in detail if the SAG and AFTRA Joint National Boards recommend the contract for member approval. If that happens, I hope you’ll join me and vote YES to keep our pension and health benefits strong. Onward together, Ned Vaughn ow do you manage it?” Tat’s a question I sometimes hear when people learn CALIFORNIA WARMS TO INCENTIVES P roduction incentives in Los Angeles and the state of California have received a boost in recent months, thanks in part to efforts by Screen Actors Guild. Screen Actors Guild staff was on hand at Los Angeles City Hall on October 12 for a hearing of the Jobs and Business Development Committee. SAG urged the L.A. City Council to move forward with a proposal to reduce production taxes, noting that this step toward increasing production in the city will positively impact our many members that live and work in Southern California. On October 19 the Los Angeles City Council directed the city attorney to draſt an ordinance that would reduce taxes for feature films, television shows and commercials that shoot in the city. Tis action builds on the relatively young state incentive program, which Screen Actors Guild also lobbied to see put in place. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced July 30 that the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program that was a part of last year’s budget agreement has achieved its desired goal of keeping scores of film and television productions in state. In its first year, the California Film Commission allocated $200 million in tax credits to 77 projects. Tis year, another 30 projects are set to receive an additional $100 million in tax credit allocations. SAG will continue to fight for ways to make California competitive with state production incentives found elsewhere. Classic on August 16 at Burbank’s Lakeside Golf Club. Te celebrity tournament benefited the SAG Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund, which provides grants to actors when illness or injury destroys their ability to work and ends their access to health insurance. Te day’s awards were presented by SAG Foundation Hitting the Links for Health Fund T NT’s Men of a Certain Age Ray Romano and Scott Bakula hosted the inaugural SAG Foundation Golf Board President JoBeth Williams and Tom Dreesen, who served as master of ceremonies. Keynote speaker SAG National Board Member Marcia Strassman shared personal gratitude for the fund, which helped the veteran actor manage more than three years of extensive cancer treatments. SAG National Board Member Scott Bakula, Kevin Dillon, SAG President Ken Howard and Peter Gallagher 60 SCREEN ACTOR - Fall/Winter 2010 Paul Lester Photography

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