Marianna Edwards has left her position as manager of the SAG Producers Pension & Health Plan, Deadline has confirmed. “Marianna Edwards is no longer working here,” a SAG P&H Human Resources official said today. In fact, she hasn’t been working there for at least two weeks. Edwards resigned in late October after 27 years at SAG. Her departure came around the same time the SAG-AFTRA National Board received an uninformative Pension, Health & Retirement Report from the trustees of the still separate SAG Producers Pension and Health Plan and the AFTRA Health and Retirement Plan. In July, the National Board of the now merged union passed a motion urging the trustees of the plans to unify and to immediately implement a reciprocity agreement between the two plans.
The first SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local membership meeting since the unions’ merger is Monday, December 3 at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. Registration begins at 6:30 PM for a 7 PM start, and all members in good standing are …
LOS ANGELES (October 18, 2012) — SAG-AFTRA announced that it has negotiated a contract specifically designed for SAG-AFTRA members and franchised talent agents nationwide. These products are being made available in order to assist those seeking additional insurance or for members who do not currently qualify for either the SAG-Producers Health Plan or AFTRA Health Plan.
In conjunction with Marsh U.S. Consumer, a broker and administrator of affinity insurance and membership programs, SAG-AFTRA has launched a new user-friendly “Health Mart” website that empowers members and franchised agents to access a multitude of competitive health care options with major insurers. SAG-AFTRA’s agreement with Marsh, which operates a U.S.-only call support center, provides insurance opportunities in many areas, including health, Medicare supplement, dental, home, auto, life and long-term care.
The Motion Picture Association of America and SAG-AFTRA today commended Gov. Jerry Brown for signing into law a two-year extension of California’s $100 million a year film and television tax credits. Read their statements below:
“The state of California took a big step forward today, thanks to Governor Brown and the legislature,” said Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. “The two-year extension of the state’s production tax credit will keep California competitive for tens of thousands of production-related jobs. This is an important victory for California’s economy, our national economy, and the hardworking men and women who comprise the film and television industry.”
Things are about to get leaner at the thespian union. Approximately 15% of SAG-AFTRA’s 600 staff members will be heading out the door in the next few days. About 80 union employees have taken buyouts. A few …
An extension of California’s $100 million annual film and television tax credit program leaped through another legislative hurdle today. With a 32-3 vote in Sacramento, the state Senate approved extending the program two more years. The measure, …
Los Angeles (August 1, 2012) — SAG-AFTRA today received a new, national charter from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. SAG-AFTRA joins 55 other unions, comprising more than 12 million working men and women, under the AFL-CIO banner.
“With workers’ rights under attack nationwide, this charter represents a bright spot in the union movement and we are proud to add our new, unified voice in support of all workers in this country,” said SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon. “We are delighted to join with workers across the nation, and reaffirm the mission we share with the AFL-CIO: to ensure workers are treated fairly.”
The National Board of Directors of SAG-AFTRA met today via videoconference in the first day of a regularly scheduled two-day plenary. It agreed to cancel early bargaining of the Commercials Contracts. The National Board also ended the SAG Interactive Media Agreement and soon will put into effect the AFTRA agreement. It also approved an industry-wide music video pact. Here are the relevant portions of today’s announcement:
– The National Board unanimously approved an agreement with the Joint Policy Committee, which bargains the Commercials Contracts on behalf of employers, to pursue a “Clearinghouse Project” designed to address some of the data challenges encountered during the Gross Ratings Point (“GRP”) Pilot Project conducted pursuant to the 2009 Commercials Contracts. This agreement results in the mutually agreed upon cancellation of an October early bargaining period regarding GRP that the parties had agreed to during the 2009 negotiations.
In light of the additional preparation time made available by the cancellation of early bargaining, the National Board approved a revised schedule for the Commercials Contracts wages and working conditions process. The process will begin with educational meetings to be held in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago beginning August 7th. Formal W&W meetings will be scheduled to begin after September 10th. The start date of formal negotiations for successor agreements to the 2009 Commercials Contracts has not yet been set.
– The National Board also unanimously approved terminating the legacy SAG Interactive Media Agreement via 60-day notice to producers who had been using the expired contract. Those producers will be invited to transition to the active legacy AFTRA agreement.
– The National Board unanimously approved the first industry-wide music video agreement negotiated with representatives of the major record labels including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, EMI Music and The Walt Disney Co. and most of their subsidiary labels.
Assistant National Executive Director of Sound Recordings, Randall Himes, joined by National Director of Sound Recordings Stephanie Taub; Western Region Organizing Director, Steve Sidawi; music video negotiating committee members SAG-AFTRA National Board member and dancer Sharon Ferguson (worked with music video artists including Prince and No Doubt); and dancers Aimee Winston (Kylie Minogue), Ava Bernstine (Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears), Danielle Towne, (Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas), and Cassidy Noblett (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry), presented the board with the tentative agreement representing the first-ever industry-wide contract with the major record labels covering dancers and other performers on music videos.
Ending over 12 years of negotiations, an international treaty protecting actors’ rights was signed today in Beijing. The treaty is backed by UN agency WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, which includes 185 member states. Now known as the Beijing Treaty, it’s designed to extend economic and moral protection for film and TV performers around the world. Such Hollywood stars as Meryl Streep and Javier Bardem have been big proponents of its implementation. Dominick Luquer, general secretary of the Federation of International Actors said today, “This Treaty will give performers critical rights that will help them control the legitimate exploitation of their work and benefit financially from the new digital reality.”
SAG-AFTRA co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon jointly welcomed the news: “Actors and other audiovisual performers have long needed the crucial protections of this treaty, and now we can finally have them. With new rights to proper compensation for the use of our work and control over the use of our images and likenesses, actors will have important tools to protect themselves around the world. This rising tide can lift the boats of all actors worldwide.”
UPDATE: SAG-AFTRA reports that the union has reached an agreement with Cimarron and has received an initial payment. SAG-AFTRA says “We are working out details and have nothing further on that at this time.” The union will issue a return-to-work advisory as soon as final details are solidified.
The good news for Lifetime and the producers of their tabloid headline-making movie Liz & Dick is that it has only about a week of filming left. The bad news is that, as the first two and a half weeks of shooting proved, with Lindsay Lohan as the star, a lot could happen in a week that could impact production.
In the last two weeks, filming on the movie was pushed after Lohan crashed her car on her way to the set and when she passed out in her room toward the end of a nightlong shoot. In a tweet, Lohan cited exhaustion “after working 85 hours in 4 days.” When two crew members in the hair department left the production a day later, also claiming exhaustion, Liz & Dick began to attract union attentions. Despite an awkwardly worded statement by SAG-AFTRA today stressing that “we have thoroughly investigated this matter” and “all applicable penalties will be paid,” there have been no violations cited by the actors union yet, and a SAG-AFTRA rep admitted that “we do not have complete information on this yet.” Liz & Dick producer Larry Thompson, a TV movie veteran who is a union signatory and knows their requirements inside and out, acknowledged in a statement that “an AFTRA rep visited us on the set late yesterday afternoon and was TOTALLY fine with everything,” adding that per the union rep, it wasn’t any complaints from AFTRA members but “tweets and comments in the media” that prompted “their curiosity and desire to inquire.”
IATSE, the union that represents stagehands, film technicians and other crafts people, also officially weighed in on the matter tonight. “We have had union representatives on the set since last Friday [June 15] and will continue to monitor the hours and working conditions there,” IATSE said in a statement, though crew members working on Liz & Dick indicated earlier today that they hadn’t been contacted by their union yet to discuss the issue.
Because their budgets are modest, TV movies have far more compressed filming schedules than features do, which does lead to longer days on the set. But Liz & Dick crew members we spoke with disputed the filming hours account in Lohan’s tweet. “Lilo did not work 85 hours in 4 days and we are not averaging 20 hours a day,” one crew member said. “We worked about 70-75 hours in 5 days last week, which isn’t that abnormal for a TV movie. And we’re on set before Lilo and usually wrap long after she’s gone. We could’ve shaved off about 7 or 8 hours that we sat around waiting for Lilo.”
LOS ANGELES (June 1, 2012) — SAG-AFTRA today announced that it had reached tentative agreement with the major record labels — Universal Music
On the recommendation of the union-wide national officers and the Executive Committee, the National Board confirmed David P. White in his role as National Executive Director and authorized his new three-year contract in that capacity, expiring May 21, 2015.
“I am pleased with the Board’s action and am grateful for their vote of confidence. We’ve achieved a tremendous success with our recent merger, but there is much more to be done and I look forward to working with the officers, directors and our talented staff team to continue to improve our operations and further empower and serve the members of SAG-AFTRA,” White said.
“David has clearly shown his management acumen and ability to direct our organization and lead our staff in implementing critical operational initiatives. There is no better person to lead SAG-AFTRA and we are thrilled that he will continue as national executive director,” said Co-Presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon.
The new SAG-AFTRA national union sent out a special notice to its members today about working on music videos “and its fght for safe, fair working conditions and health care for SAG-AFTRA dancers and performers who appear in them”. The notice is an advisory to members of action which the SAG-AFTRA National Board may take at its upcoming meeting on May 19th and 20th, which may include a ‘Do Not Work Notice’:
For many years, dancers who work music videos have been provided a contract to provide them with minimum pay and benefits if they are hired to work in a music video.