Summer 2011

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ON LOCATION HOLLYWOOD DIVISION In My Opinion: Ned Vaughn 1st National Vice President become one union – is now even better, because the process is underway. In June, the SAG Merger Task Force and the AFTRA New T Union Committee met together for the first time as the Group for One Union, or G1. In meetings that lasted three days, the G1 began the hard work of developing a formal merger plan. Over the next five months, the G1 will continue to work on a comprehensive merger agreement that will be reviewed by the SAG and AFTRA National Boards in January. If the boards approve the plan, SAG and AFTRA members will then decide if we should become one union by voting in a referendum as early as March. For months, the Presidents' Forum Listening Tour heard from members across the country about how their work is changing, and how a combined union could best meet their needs. That valuable input will form the foundation of our successor union. But before members are asked to vote on a merger plan, another crucial outreach will take place. Information meetings will be held throughout the country and exhaustive details will be provided in printed materials and online. It is essential that members clearly understand any agreement they are asked to vote on, and there will be a variety of ways for members to get their questions answered. Until then, the G1 will remain focused on developing a successor union plan that satisfies the needs and desires of current members, and also maximizes our ability to protect future generations of performers. When our joint TV/Theatrical-Exhibit A Contract negotiations split apart in 2008, SAG and AFTRA faced a critical moment. For the first time ever, SAG members saw their dues money being spent to fund an organized campaign against our sister union. That unsettling reality pointed to a stark decision about our future: we could either engage in a devastating jurisdictional war across our contracts (to our employers' delight), or we could fix the terrible vulnerability we had exposed and ensure that it could never happen again, by becoming one union. Thankfully, members chose the path of unity, and I believe that decision will soon bear fruit. As the G1 continues working to develop a formal merger plan, please know that your input is always welcome. You can communicate your ideas, concerns, or questions anytime by emailing You can also stay up to date with the latest information by visiting Onward together, Ned Vaughn he good news reported in the previous edition of Screen Actor – that SAG and AFTRA have established an official effort to JOSEPH RUSKIN RECEIVES RALPH MORGAN AWARD S creen Actors Guild has honored veteran actor and longtime SAG Board member Joseph Ruskin with the Ralph Morgan award, the highest service award given by the Hollywood Division. Ruskin has an impressive record of service to the Guild, in both leadership and on dozens of committees. He was first elected to the Hollywood Board of Directors in 1976 and served multiple terms for more than 20 years. He has served four times as 1st vice president and twice as 3rd vice president. He also serves as a trustee on the SAG-Producers Pension and Health Board and chairs the SAG Foundation's John L. Dales Scholarship program, which provides scholarships to SAG members and their children. Ruskin's credits read like a history of television, starting in the days of live TV and on through innumerable classics, such as The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone, Get Smart, Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes, Mission Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, Knight Rider, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, L.A. Law, ER, Alias and Bones. His more than two dozen movie roles include Smokin' Aces, The Scorpion King, Indecent Proposal and Prizzi's Honor. Accepting the award at a ceremony during the Hollywood Division Membership Meeting on July 17 in Studio City, Ruskin said everything he had done in service to the Guild was for the betterment of actors, and that he derived a great sense of satisfaction in solving problems. Overcome by emotion, he also thanked his fellow actors for their camaraderie. "I have added up some of the greatest friendships anybody could have and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart," Ruskin said. The Ralph Morgan Award is named for SAG's first president, who led the fight to establish a union for screen actors in 1933. It has been given periodically since 1981 for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership. Among the previous recipients of the Ralph Morgan Award are past SAG presidents Ed Asner, William Schallert and Dennis Weaver, screen legend and Board member Gloria Stuart, as well as other distinguished officers and members. Joseph Ruskin, this year's recipient of the Ralph Morgan Award, left, with former 3rd Vice President Daryl Anderson, member of the National Honors and Tributes Committee, who presented the award to Ruskin July 17. 32 SCREEN ACTOR - Summer 2011 Becky Sapp

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