SAG Call Sheet Winter 2012

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MARCH 2012 Vol. 27 No. 3 Inside: pg 2 Viewers Tune in to SAG Awards pg 2 Experts Offer Online Security Advice pg 3 One Union, Four Reasons pg 4 Production Center on the 'MOVE' pg 5 I AM PWD Summit Highlights Diversity pg 5 Make Tax Time Less Taxing pg 6 New Hollywood Film Society Season to Start pg 7 Calendar of Events Screen Actors Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. In My Opinion 1st National Vice President NED VAUGHN Y ou have an important choice to make. Your merger referendum ballot has arrived and how you vote will be one of the most important decisions you make as a professional actor. Your choice won't only affect your own career, but will have a profound impact on anyone hoping to make a living in our exciting and challenging profession. But don't take my word for it. Just look at the facts. In 2003, members were asked to make the same decision about merging with AFTRA. A strong majority of SAG members approved the referendum — over 57 percent — but the vote fell just short of the 60 percent required for passage. In hindsight, that was an unfortunate and extremely costly decision. Members voted the way they did for several reasons, but two standouts were: • Merger opponents claimed that keeping SAG and AFTRA separate would help protect pension and health benefits. • Merger opponents claimed that jurisdictional conflicts between SAG and AFTRA would be resolved without the unions engaging in direct competition. These were primary arguments of merger opponents in 2003 — and they were dead wrong. That's not an opinion. It's simple fact, proven by nearly a decade of troubling consequences. And yet the very same people are telling you, once again, that we are better off keeping actors divided in two separate unions. You know the saying: Fool me once... So let's look at the record. How did voting "no" in 2003 work to protect pension and health benefits? Since then, premiums, co-pays and deductibles have all risen sharply while health coverage has been significantly reduced. Pension accrual rates have fallen substantially, making it much harder to build a retirement nest egg. Meanwhile, the earnings Merger Proposal Heads for Member Vote overwhelmingly approved the proposed merger package, sending to members the question of whether the two unions should become one. Ballots, along with complete details of the merger T agreement, were mailed to eligible members of both unions on February 27 and must be received at the assigned P.O. Box no later than 10:00 a.m. (PDT) on Friday, March 30, 2012. The elected leaders of both unions have been working hard for the past several months to craft a plan that combines the best elements of both unions to create a powerful new entity that will enhance bargaining leverage for performers. After the boards' actions, SAG National President Ken Howard expressed optimism that members would approve the deal. "Professional performers are now an important step closer to the strongest union representation possible. Just as our boards have, I believe our members will decisively approve this merger and that SAG-AFTRA will be a leader in shaping the entertainment and media industries." For details about the proposed merger, as well as answers to questions, go to or call (855) SAG-AFTRA, (855) 724-2387. he national boards of Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists needed to qualify for both types of benefits have risen dramatically. And now, with our work more divided than ever, many of us find our covered earnings split between the AFTRA and SAG plans, making it extremely difficult to qualify for benefits at all. The lesson is clear: trying to protect pension and health benefits by keeping SAG and AFTRA divided is like trying to stay warm by setting your house on fire. It's a terrible idea. In My Opinion continues on page 6

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