Summer 2011

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A LETTER TO MEMBERS From Secretary–Treasurer AMY AQUINO notes relating to shiſts in accounting practices. While the National Board budgeted a deficit, it was half that of the previous year, and the Guild beat it by a substantial amount. There was other good news: SAG has collected very significant money for members from A producers who fail to live up to their responsibilities. With the help of law student interns receiving credits, SAG in-house attorneys are aggressively foreclosing on films on which residuals or other payments have not been made. Once in our possession, SAG itself sells the rights to them, so members can get what they are due. Also encouraging is the fact that the number of new members joining SAG is holding steady nationally, with an uptick in those with lapsed membership coming back to the fold. Still extremely challenging for SAG, as it is for other entertainment unions, is the increasing flood of residuals checks, which grows exponentially as old product and new is distributed on more and more different platforms. SAG has taken important steps to automate processing of this mountain of individual checks, and we're on the road to much more efficiency there. But the fact that we're the first union to do this means that it's leſt to us to do the beta testing, and we won't see real benefits until we work out the kinks. But no matter how quickly we can process them, in this day and age there's no excuse for a $10 payment — much less a 10 cent payment — to leave the massive carbon footprint created by the hundreds of thousands of paper checks the studios insist on paying us with. The time has come for our cutting-edge industry to be responsible and apply today's technology to this area. SAG has made this a very high priority and is actively pursuing solutions, attacking the problem from multiple angles. Finally, this July I spent three days in Seattle as an elected delegate to the AFTRA National Convention, where we heard from truly remarkable speakers from across the country. I was especially inspired by the strong and unwavering reaffirmation of AFTRA's commitment to join with SAG to create a single powerful union. That vital expression didn't just come from AFTRA's top leadership and executives, but was loudly echoed by the delegates on the convention floor, who adopted it as a resolution. But what struck me more than anything was the fact that wherever I looked in that big AFTRA room, I saw people I know from our big SAG rooms. I saw SAG Board and Council members from Hollywood, New York and the regional branches: present and former; from both sides of whatever political aisles have existed at SAG; those who favor merger and some of the few who don't. We were there as AFTRA representatives, yes, but we were there for the same reason we show up at SAG — to make sure professional performers get the protection and compensation they need to support themselves and their families. As committed as we all are to this vital cause, nothing we do in separate rooms will have the impact of us coming together as one powerful group. I know I'm looking forward to the day when we have just one union's meetings to show up for; I was thrilled to see how much our brothers and sisters at AFTRA are, too. s we close out the books for SAG's 2010-11 fiscal year, I'm pleased to report that the Guild continues on a steady and stable trend, with some very positive developments. SAG once again received a very clean audit, with just two minor Amy Aquino 10 SCREEN ACTOR - Summer 2011

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