LA-Based Unite For Strength Announces SAG-AFTRA Election Slate

By | Thursday July 18, 2013 @ 5:59pm PDT

Just under a week after SAG-AFTRA announced the candidates for its first election since last year’s merger, the Unite for Strength slate put out its list today. Current National co-President Ken Howard, who is running for the new solo top position, is LA-based UFS’ endorsed candidate in the election. Amy Aquino, who with Howard helped form UFS several years ago, is the endorsed Secretary-Treasurer candidate. Clyde Kusatsu is the UFS endorsed candidate for the Los Angeles Local president’s seat. Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star Ron Perlman, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Tony Shalhoub expressed their support for the slate. “Unite for Strength’s record of success proves that no one will fight harder or smarter to protect SAG-AFTRA members. With our TV/Theatrical negotiations ahead, it’s crucial to elect leaders who will deliver real results – that’s Unite for Strength,” said Perlman in a statement today. Here’s the UFS release:

Related: USAN Unveils SAG-AFTRA Election Slate

Los Angeles, (July 18, 2013) – Unite for Strength today announced that SAG-AFTRA Co-President Ken Howard and Co-Secretary Treasurer Amy Aquino will seek re-election as the Union’s top directly elected national officers. The group will field a slate of 52 candidates running for positions on the SAG-AFTRA National and Los Angeles Local Boards, including veteran actor Clyde Kusatsu, who is running to become Los Angeles Local President. The slate brings together a broad coalition of candidates with wide-ranging experience in union leadership, including Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Patrika Darbo (Rango), Lisa Vidal (Grimm), Hal Eisner (Award-winning broadcaster at KTTV FOX 11), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy), Stephen Collins (Devious Maids), and Iqbal Theba (Glee). UFS will also field more than 100 candidates vying for positions as delegates to the first SAG-AFTRA National Convention, to be held in Los Angeles in late September. Election ballots were mailed to members on July 16 and will be tabulated on August 15.

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SAG-AFTRA Announces Full List Of Eligible Candidates For Inaugural Union Election

SAG-AFTRA tonight put out the full list for its first National election since last year’s merger. With every single office in the national union in play, it is a big list. Partially because of that, SAG-AFTRA has not made clear affiliation to particular slates. In summary, the candidates for National President in alphabetical order are Paul Edney, Ken Howard, Marilyn Monrovia, and Esai Morales. And the candidates for National Secretary-Treasurer are Amy Aquino and Jane Austin. (See below or the 2013 SAG-AFTRA Candidate Elections webpage.)

As previously announced, current SAG-AFTRA co-president Ken Howard is running for the solo National President spot. Even though he’s not part of the slate, Howard is endorsed and is endorsing the NY-based USAN offering, which includes current NY Local President Mike Hodge and Under The Dome’s Samantha Mathis among its candidates. Former NYPD Blue actor Esai Morales, a MembershipFirst anti-merger activist and SAG National Board member, also is running for National President with stuntwoman Jane Austin vying for the sole National Secretary-Treasurer spot. With USAN’s dominance in NY, anti-merger activists are not running candidates there.

Along with Amy Aquino who is running for the sole National Secretary-Treasurer slot, Howard has the same endorsement deal with the LA-based Unite For Strength slate, which he led for the past four years. His present co-President Roberta Reardon is running for NY Local President and the pivotal National Executive Vice President with her newly formed NYC4U slate. Candidates in the Michigan, Nashville and Portland local elections ran unopposed and results will be announced next week. National officer ballots will be mailed to all eligible SAG-AFTRA members nationwide on July 16, with a return deadline and tabulation on August 15. The EVP post and the regional VP positions will be voted on at the inaugural National Convention in Downtown LA on September 26-29.

The election comes as former SAG President Ed Asner and other anti-merger activists filed suit in late May against the union over what they claim is $110 million in undistributed residuals and royalties in their attempt to keep scrutinizing the merged union. Here is tonight’s announcement:

2013 SAG-AFTRA Candidate Elections

Los Angeles (July 12, 2013) – SAG-AFTRA today released the official rosters of candidates for its upcoming elections.

National president and national secretary-treasurer positions are up for election, both of which carry two-year terms. All national board seats are up for election this year, along with all local officer, local board, and convention delegate positions.

The executive vice president and other vice presidents will be elected at the inaugural SAG-AFTRA Convention in September.

National officer ballots will be mailed to all eligible SAG-AFTRA members nationwide on July16, with a return deadline and tabulation on August 15. Election results are expected to be announced that evening. The same schedule will apply to the Los Angeles and New York Local elections. Schedules vary for other local elections.

The candidates for national president are Paul Edney, Ken Howard, Marilyn Monrovia, and Esai Morales. The candidates for national secretary-treasurer are Amy Aquino and Jane Austin.

Candidates in the Michigan, Nashville and Portland local elections ran unopposed and results will be announced next week.

Voter Guides for the national officer elections and for each local with contested elections can be found on the 2013 SAG-AFTRA Candidate Elections  webpage.

2013 National Officers Election

National President – 2 year term
01. Paul Edney
Born and raised in England before moving to USA. I spent 15 months in Iraq 2007-8. Currently completing my Masters degree in Communication. I have appeared in over 65 SAG/AFTRA productions, mostly Background, but also Principal and Featured roles. www.imdb.com/name/nm2481281/. Plus many commercials. I am on the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations Committee. Very active in union politics, especially social media, like actors’ Facebook groups. Are you better off now than before the merger? A recent poll suggests not. I want to change that by ending split earnings; raising the number of Background hires etc. Visit my website www.pauledney.com, then vote. Thank you.

02. Ken Howard
We merged to increase our bargaining power and made historic gains as a result. Our new Commercials Contract delivers $238 million more in wages and benefits – that’s REAL strength. Now we must achieve even greater gains in film, television and new media. I’ve made my living under our contracts for 44 years; I want to give back by making our contracts and union stronger for future generations. That’s why I focused on merger. Now I want to focus on delivering a strong TV/Theatrical Contract and seeing that our benefits are safely merged. Endorsed by www.USANLeadership.com and www.UniteforStrength.com.

03. Marilyn Monrovia
Don’t Bogart the union membership card! While I was not able to become a SAG member until later in life, I want SAG to be an organization that benefits people of any age and at any time along the continuum of their artistic journey. We need to work together as one. And with producers to encourage compliance with contracts. Although I’m currently background talent, I am on first base with SAG and am prepared to go to bat for actors. I plan to help enforce the current policies for protection of all. Photo Lanning Gold…you dirty rat.

04. Esai Morales
As an experienced “actorvist”, I will refine how this merged union can benefit all members. The current delay in residuals is unacceptable. I will hasten the unions promise of merging the pension and health plans. I will ensure that our readiness for the 2014 TV/Theatrical contract negotiations is unparalleled. SAG-AFTRA can no longer operate in the red. I will establish worldwide recognition, branding and proper industry respect for SAG-AFTRA. For our background performers I will lead the vetting of the costly and questionable hiring practices. Support Jane Austin for Secretary-Treasurer. For more details about my platform, visit www.membership1st.org.

National Secretary-Treasurer – 2 year term
05. Amy Aquino
When something matters to me, I simply don’t give up. After two merger efforts failed, I came back as SAG Secretary-Treasurer for a third; we prevailed. With checks multiplying by millions a year, residuals handling needs fundamental change. So when I was brought a proposal for a revolutionary new payment system, I wouldn’t stop until SAG-AFTRA agreed to help test it; we’re starting that this fall. Other challenges ahead- health plan merger, contract negotiations, long-term fiscal security — require vision and persistence. You can count on me for both. Current Co-Secretary-Treasurer, SAG P & H Trustee. www.amyaquino.com. Endorsed by www.UniteforStrength.com

06. Jane Austin
Endorsed by www.membership1st.org. A member for 25 years. Served for several years on both SAG and AFTRA National Boards. I am not only an experienced stunt performer but a experienced business woman, making me qualified for the job. I understand the economics of this business and the financial needs of performers. I’ve been a voting member of the last 3 TV/Theatrical contract negotiations and know my way around balance sheets. My first two goals: Guide this union out of its financial hole and get residuals to members faster. Please support me and presidential candidate Esai Morales.

2013 Arizona-Utah Local Election
2013 Atlanta Local Election
2013 Chicago Local Election

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Ken Howard & Amy Aquino Lead UFS Slate

By | Thursday August 4, 2011 @ 4:48pm PDT

SAG Unveils Candidate Lists For National Elections

Los Angeles, (August 4, 2011) – Unite for Strength today announced that Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard and Secretary Treasurer Amy Aquino will seek re-election as the Guild’s top national officers.

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SAG: Unite For Strength’s Ned Vaughn To Lead Hollywood Division

Unite For Strength’s Ned Vaughn replaced Membership First’s Anne-Marie Johnson who chose not to run for re-election when her party lost control of SAG’s Hollywood Division (Anne-Marie Johnson Ends SAG Hollywood Term: Bemoans Guild’s “Fading Legacy”):

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SAG National Majority Increases Numbers In Results Of 2010 National Board Elections: Ex-SAG Prez Alan Rosenberg Loses Seat

2ND UPDATE: Hollywood can most likely expect a quick and easy negotiation when the Screen Actors Guild joins with AFTRA to negotiate with the studios and networks starting Monday. It also looks more than likely that SAG will merge with AFTRA soon. That’s because the so-called pro-moderation and pro-merger SAG National Majority — consisting of Unite For Strength (U4S) based in Hollywood and the United Screen Actors Nationwide (USAN) consisting of the NY Division and Regional reps — today strengthened its grip over the big actors union. Usually, those SAG candidates who are also well-known actors fare better in these guild elections. But today’s election results show that rival faction Membership First lost all 13 of its open seats on the 71-member national board, including such well-known incumbents as controversial ex-SAG president Alan Rosenberg, Nancy Sinatra, Valerie Harper, Frances Fisher, and Esai Morales. (Harper and Morales are Alternates.)

So, at least among the small percentage of SAG’s 125,000 membership that actually sent in ballots (less than in recent years), this was a clear repudiation of Membership First’s years of pursuing a hardball negotiating strategy against the AMPTP and a hardline stand against SAG merging with AFTRA.

Now U4S, which came to power just 2 years ago, and its national majority coalition have extended their margin of control over SAG’s policy-setting National Board to about 80% of the votes. UFS will also assume control of the Guild’s Hollywood Division Board, with 75% of the votes. Its better-known winning candidates included Ron Perlman, Gabrielle Carteris, Jeff Garlin, Michael O’Keefe for 3-year terms, and DW Moffett with a 1-year term.

“SAG members have spoken decisively and what they’re saying couldn’t be more clear – they voted for merger,” SAG president Ken Howard, a U4S member, said in a U4S-issued statement after election results were announced. “I’m looking forward to working with all the re-elected and newly elected board members, and our partners at AFTRA, to make one union happen.”

U4S leader Ned Vaughn, who remains just an Alternate for the SAG National Board, called it a “landslide affirmation of Unite for Strength’s goal of uniting SAG and AFTRA as a single performers’ union.” He noted that SAG’s Hollywood Division members today elected 13 U4S candidates to serve on the Guild’s National Board of Directors, and another 20 of the group’s candidates to serve on the SAG Hollywood Board. U4S candidates won 33 of the 35 total seats at stake in Hollywood. “All the candidates elected in the Guild’s New York and Regional Branch Divisions also support the move to one union.”

This coming Monday, SAG and AFTRA will begin jointly bargaining their TV/Theatrical Contract with the AMPTP for 7 weeks, followed by the DGA in mid-November. No date has yet been set for the WGA, whose contract ends May 1, 2011, but the moguls and the AMPTP intend to negotiate with the writers last to ensure there’s the most Hollywood pressure on them. At present, SAG/AFTRA and the DGA are trading information, but not with the WGA despite last year’s talk about all the Hollywood guilds cooperating. Both SAG/AFTRA and the DGA have made it their priority to achieve gains in health and pension, and much less so in wages and New Media. This, despite the fact that Big Media just reported bigger profits this past quarter and better forecasts for the rest of 2010 and also 2011.

The major election issue this time around was exactly how actors should be unionized. U4S and USAN are content to join with AFTRA as is and become one union. However, Membership First has long opposed a combined union with AFTRA because the smaller predominantly represents broadcasters and is simple to join. MF believes that instead all actors should belong to one big union.

But MF was demoralized and disorganized during this latest campaign so it’s no surprise it lost further ground. This was also the first SAG election under the non-disparagement gag order with AFTRA. So any open debate was nonexistent. Even the hot button issue of the SAG National Majority standing idly by last spring while AFTRA poached 38 new broadcast scripted TV series for the 2010-2011 season, compared to SAG’s single new show, never received attention. Read More »

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BATTLING BEGINS! Screen Actors Guild Election Blown Apart By Websites; Issues Include AFTRA Poaching & SAG Ignoring

I have been wondering how any honest campaigning can be held in the ongoing SAG election what with this ludicrous anti-free speech SAG-AFTRA Non-Disparagement Agreement in effect. It forbids any criticism of either guild’s current leadership written or verbal — which in effect … Read More »

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Unite For Strength Fields 35 Candidates For SAG Board: “One Union For Performers”

 
Los Angeles, (August 4, 2010) – Seeking to extend its majority coalition on SAG’s National Board of Directors, Unite for Strength today announced its slate of 35 candidates running for election to the SAG National and Hollywood Division Boards. In addition to 15 incumbent Hollywood Board members, the UFS slate features numerous first-time candidates, including veteran actor Ron Perlman and noted comedian/actor Jeff Garlin.

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