Spring 2018

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12 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2018 | D AV I D W H I T E A Letter from the National Executive Director "We are gaining further insight into the insidious ways that harassment occurs and how lasting the impact can be on the life and career of an affected individual." issue of harassment and advance equity in the workplace. We have issued a Code of Conduct that serves as an essential platform for us to develop specific guidelines tailored to the unique settings in which our members work and network. We have traveled to Washington, D.C.; Sacramento, California; Albany, New York; and to other state capitals to meet with legislators and officials about legislative and policy changes they can help to enact. We have hosted trainings, panel discussions and seminars. We are expanding the union's resources to intervene when problems arise and to help members access the support they need when experiencing trauma as a result of harassment. We are engaged with several industrywide efforts to change the overall ecosystem that allows this plague to exist. When speaking to students earlier this month, I underscored a point that is important for all of us to hear: We absolutely must not, and will not, allow the fight to eliminate harassment in our industry to become "just another issue" that receives attention for a brief period of time and then moves to the background to make way for the next "issue of the day." We have been given a rare opportunity to address an issue that afflicts our own members and so many others around the world. I share the belief that many of our elected leaders have expressed: We have a special responsibility to pursue these efforts until true, lasting change has occurred. I hope that every member reading this letter finds a way to become involved, whether by participating in events offered around the country in the coming months, by becoming an informed peer who can offer support to colleagues when trouble arises, or through some other method. We are called to action and SAG-AFTRA is uniquely positioned to respond to this call. Together, we will rise to this challenge. We are currently preparing for bargaining on two industrywide contracts in the coming months: Our Network Television Code and Sound Recordings Code. These contracts do not typically receive a great deal of attention in the industry press, but they are absolutely critical to those of our members who work under their protection. We expect these negotiations to be as challenging as other recent bargaining cycles. I want to thank all the members who have participated either at the committee level or during the W&W process. Your input is invaluable as we prepare for these crucial negotiations. In unity and looking forward, David White Dear Member, I recently spoke to a group of students in Los Angeles and they were quite focused on our efforts to help eliminate sexual harassment from the industry. I was very pleased to hear they were paying close attention to the issue and were aware of the unique role that we have to play in the effort to address it. The stories I continue to hear from members about their experiences being harassed are truly disturbing. Some misconduct happens in the workplace, whether on set, in broadcast shops or on music tours. A great deal of this also happens outside any official work environment, where members are attempting to network and build relationships with other professionals who can provide future job opportunities, or help to advance their career in myriad ways. All of it must be stopped. As women and men are more emboldened to speak out about their encounter(s) with harassment, we gain further insight into the insidious ways that it occurs and how lasting the impact can be on the life and career of an affected individual. Since my last letter to you, SAG-AFTRA has taken a number of important steps to address this problem. We have presented our Four Pillars of Change initiative, which is a comprehensive effort to confront the

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