SAG-AFTRA Summer 2012

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A Letter from the Executive Vice President NED VAUGHN "When SAG-AFTRA takes a position, there will be no other union for our employers to turn to. That's a monumental change that will benefit us all." Dear SAG-AFTRA Member, I should open my inaugural message as SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President with these words: Thank you, and well done! I began my union service with the goal I n my final message as SAG 1st Vice President, I urged you to vote YES for SAG-AFTRA. So it is fitting that of uniting SAG and AFTRA, so members would no longer be divided in separate organizations that could be placed in competition with one another. That's exactly where we were in September 2008, when I was first elected. On March 30, 2012, just three and a half years later, your overwhelming vote in favor of merger solved that problem once and for all. So now what? In short, we return to our fundamental purpose: working to improve, enforce and expand our contracts. A good example of this is the groundbreaking tentative agreement we have reached in the area of music videos. For decades, the major record labels is ratified, our members will finally be doing that work under a union contract — one that provides important workplace protections and helps members qualify for health insurance and retirement benefits. I offer my sincere congratulations to the outstanding team of negotiators, organizers and committed members who scored this impressive win. Of course, merger does not mean every contract battle will go our way. We must still fight smart and hard for every gain we want to achieve. What merger does mean, however, is that when SAG-AFTRA takes a position, there will be no other union for our employers to turn to. That's a monumental change that will benefit us all. that produce music videos have refused to provide union coverage for the dancers and other performers they employ. If the newly negotiated SAG-AFTRA agreement successful merger — one I view through a personal lens, even though it applies to every member who holds a SAG-AFTRA card. I referred earlier to my first election in 2008, when I ran for a seat on the SAG Board of Directors. At that time, SAG's Hollywood leadership was resolutely opposed to merger with AFTRA, and relations between our unions were at a critical low. I began talking with other members who shared my concerns, and There's another meaning to our we decided to work together to see if we could make a change. What started as a series of conversations around a dining room table eventually grew to become the movement that would lead to merger. That brief version of recent history doesn't begin to acknowledge the many people whose contributions to merger were essential, but I raise it to make this point: getting involved in the life of our union can be a remarkable and powerful thing. Whether it's running for a board seat or as a convention delegate, serving on a national or local committee, taking part in a W&W process or simply being an informed member who cares about the direction we take, your involvement matters tremendously. As we build the future of SAG-AFTRA, I urge you to take part. Our union will only be stronger for it. Onward together, Ned Vaughn 8 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2012 |

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