Fall 2011

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ON LOCATION HOLLYWOOD DIVISION SAG SINGERS SING COMPOSER'S PRAISES In My Opinion: Ned Vaughn 1st National Vice President divided between SAG and AFTRA, many of us are caught in an awful predicament: We work under both unions' contracts, but because our employer contributions are split, we fail to qualify for benefits under either union's plan. It's a growing problem that leaves working performers exposed to potentially devastating medical costs. With that in mind, it's tempting to view the effort to unite SAG P and AFTRA primarily as a means of solving problems that come from divided earnings. Even though forming one union is the most effective step we can take to address those issues, viewing it through that prism alone can distract from the real reason SAG and AFTRA must merge: bargaining strength. Bargaining strength is the bedrock of a union's power, and merging SAG and AFTRA will increase our bargaining strength. This is vitally important, because bargaining strength is literally the root of every protection a union provides — from the amount of work it organizes to the compensation it negotiates for members, the pension and health benefits it can offer, and its ability to respond to industry-driven changes. Members of SAG and AFTRA will undoubtedly have more bargaining strength in a merged union. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the troubling consequences of having separate unions. When the unions separately negotiated the TV/Theatrical and Exhibit A contracts in 2008, the resulting 11-month SAG contract stalemate cost members nearly $100 million in lost wages and benefits — and we are still dealing with the impact. Keeping SAG and AFTRA separate and leaving ourselves vulnerable to competitive negotiations in the future undermines our bargaining strength. Uniting SAG and AFTRA not only removes the unacceptable danger of separate contract negotiations — it puts us in a better position to deal with every issue we face. Our work is now created, distributed and consumed in ways that weren't conceivable when SAG and AFTRA were founded, and non-union work has become a rising threat. Forming a single union will allow us to focus our resources and attack these challenges from a position of maximum strength, with a unified strategy to protect our future. By contrast, competing strategies can easily make our problems worse. And what about our crucial pension and health benefits? Those, too, are a function of bargaining strength; the amount employers pay to fund our benefit plans is determined in negotiations. Increasing our bargaining strength is the most effective way to maintain and improve our benefit levels going forward. Like so many others, I depend on those benefits to support my family. Merging SAG and AFTRA is the most powerful step we can take to protect our pension and health benefits and every other union safeguard members rely on. Onward together, Ned Vaughn 60 SCREEN ACTOR - Fall 2011 ension and health benefits are essential for most actors to establish and maintain a career. But with much of our work S creen Actors Guild's Hollywood Singers Committee saluted Alan Silvestri at its third Meet the Composers event on October 27 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. Silvestri has composed music for many well-known films and television shows, including CHiPs, Starsky and Hutch, the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump, The Abyss, Predator and Stuart Little. Sally Stevens, winner of the 2011 Society of Singers Voice Award, introduced Silvestri, and SAG National Singers Committee Co-Chair Dawnn Lewis presented him with an award to commemorate the evening. "Alan is the kind of person who puts his heart and soul into everything he does," Stevens said. Composer Alan Silvestri and Sally Stevens onstage at Meet the Composers III. Wednesday, December 14, 7–9:30 p.m. Screen Actors Guild Headquarters Promenade — Lobby Level, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 The Hollywood Holiday Host Committee invites you to join your fellow members for merriment and good cheer in celebration of the holiday season. Those interested in helping others can contribute an unwrapped toy to The Village Family Service toy drive or a non-perishable food item for the AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) food drive. RSVP online at no later than Monday, December 5. This event is open to SAG members and one guest only (space is limited and RSVP line will close once capacity has been reached). For more information, please call 323/549-6447. Validated parking available onsite. Please read all posted signs. Guild not responsible for illegally parked vehicles. No alcoholic beverages served or permitted. All bags larger than 14 inches in any dimension will be prohibited from entry. No pets or animals, with the exception of animals in service.

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