SAG-AFTRA Summer 2012

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A Letter from the National Executive Director DAVID WHITE "Now we begin the exciting and challenging journey towards the ultimate prize … building a vibrant, powerful organization." Dear Member, A great people come together in pursuit of a common goal. To each and every member in our freshly expanded union, your staff sends you a hearty "congratulations!" Your overwhelming vote to create SAG- AFTRA was a resounding mandate to eliminate division and to focus on strength and opportunity. Message delivered. Now we begin the exciting and challenging journey towards the ultimate prize, which is building a vibrant, powerful organization that can represent you effectively whenever you are in front of a camera or behind a microphone, anywhere in the world. As you might expect, any merger s it turns out, a timeworn insight is true: Great things happen when between two proud, national organizations is a complicated undertaking. We worked hard to prepare for the first day, when everyone wondered whether the lights would still turn on in offices around the country. I am happy to report that, to date, our operational transition is proceeding smoothly. The lights did indeed turn on, our email switched over to the new system without a hiccup, more than 125,000 dues bills were delivered timely and accurately, and we shipped out the new SAG-AFTRA membership cards to members around the world. We are tracking our members electronically to ensure proper assignment of residuals and other union benefits. The successful conversion of such basic services was an absolute priority for me and the rest of the staff team and, despite periodic glitches, we have been effective in this overall effort. During this period of post-merger excitement, we can also boast of several signature achievements. Chief among these is the landmark agreement that SAG-AFTRA made with the world's largest record labels to cover dancers and other performers on music videos. This was the culmination of years of work, commenced with the members and staff of AFTRA and bolstered by the enhanced stature of the newly combined union. The agreement marks the first, clear manifestation of the power of the merger. SAG-AFTRA also hosted the celebrated kick-off event for the Got Your 6 campaign, the industrywide collaborative effort with the White House to support veterans and their families. Many of you also have been involved in events around the country. Large and small, these member activities form the lifeblood of a vibrant union, and I have been so pleased to see the continued commitment of members to engage with their community through SAG-AFTRA. Now, we turn our focus to the future by laying the strategic foundation for those pieces that are essential for a powerful union: expanded organizing efforts, strength at the bargaining table, effective contract enforcement, collaboration with industry partners, a strong elected leadership and an informed, engaged membership. We will build in these areas methodically and with intelligence, informed by strong member feedback and good data to ensure we understand evolving industry trends. Great people make great things happen. You have done that, and now we build on your success. I hope that each of you has a prosperous and productive summer. In unity and looking forward, David P. White 12 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2012 |

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