Spring 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 68

12 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2017 | D AV I D W H I T E A Letter from the National Executive Director "We must always remain focused on what matters most — our members — who strive to make a living during this era of unprecedented change." • Built an award-winning "university" (SAG-AFTRA University) to elevate our training nationwide; and • Expanded several essential paperless initiatives across the country to ensure this union is as environmentally responsible — and efficient — as possible. Along the way towards completion of these and other significant initiatives, we have continued to successfully negotiate our agreements that provide for billions of dollars in earnings for our members, commenced successful organizing campaigns in each of our contract areas, and benefited from the attendance and participation of hundreds of thousands of members at events, panels and activities in all 25 of our locals. While impressive, we are only beginning to realize the growing potential of our merged union. We have much more to accomplish as we consider how to protect and engage our members in a shifting policy environment that will bring likely changes to health care, copyright and many other areas that affect the daily lives of our members. We must remain keenly focused on the challenge of disruptive transformation to business models in entertainment, broadcast news and music. And we must always remain focused on what matters most: our members, who strive to make a living during this era of unprecedented change. We will be single-minded in this focus as we commence our upcoming TV/ Theatrical negotiations. Dear Member, A t our recent National Board meeting, we celebrated the milestone of reaching the fifth year in the life of our merged union. During one session, we took a brief but sweeping view of all that the union has accomplished during this relatively short period of time. It was an inspiring moment for the elected leadership, who saw, in a single snapshot, all that we have achieved in partnership with so many of you who engage in member activities around the country. To focus on just a few areas, we have: Maintaining operational excellence during this time is certainly critical to our ability to keep pace with all of this as we move forward. Five years in, we are in the process of reviewing and refreshing our internal policies and procedures to adjust our operations to better support our membership. As one example, we launched our mobile app earlier this year (see page 34), and the initial feedback from members has been overwhelmingly positive. For those who have not yet downloaded it, I encourage you to give it a try; it can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. It provides an easy-to-use, interactive touchpoint for members to access the information you need from your union. And it will naturally prompt positive changes to the way that our employees work across offices and departments to engage members across the nation and in production sites around the globe. It is appropriate to close this letter by taking a moment to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the passing of our friend and former president, Ken Howard. Ken would be overjoyed with the progress we have made in the past 12 months and over the first five years of SAG-AFTRA's existence. His legacy is sound, and we will continue to build on it. In unity and looking forward, David White • Merged our health plans; • Established jurisdiction in Spanish- language television; • Taken a unified stand against major employers in the growing industry of video games; • Negotiated a system to provide for direct deposit of our members' residuals; • Instituted a Member Care Contact Center that has vastly improved our phone service to members; • Established an interactive, mobile app for members; • Partnered with our foundation to open the Robin Williams Center for Entertainment and Media; • Provided significant technology upgrades (tablets and integrated software) to our field representatives to ensure that our staff can enforce our contracts "on the spot" when visiting film and TV sets;

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SAG-AFTRA - Spring 2017