01/28/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/28/2023 22:24

SAG-AFTRA National Board Meets via Videoconference

The SAG-AFTRA National Board met today in a scheduled one-day videoconference plenary. The National Board voted unanimously to approve a virtual convention to take place Oct. 21-23, 2023.

The National Board also reviewed administrative, finance and governance matters, and received reports including:

President's Report

President Drescher opened her report by congratulating members and staff on the successful ratification of the Corporate Educational and Non-Broadcast Agreement. Pledging her full support, she also thanked members and staff for their hard work on the TV/Theatrical Wages & Working Conditions process.

President Drescher celebrated the union's recent partnership with IMDb, noting that after a decade of fighting for it, members can finally have control on how they represent themselves to fans and industry decision-makers without having to pay extra fees. It's a huge win for our members.

Noting positive feedback about the new Anthem senior benefit plans available to members, President Drescher thanked the AFL-CIO and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland for their partnership in creating no- and low-cost Medicare supplement plans.

In addition, Drescher announced plans to launch the Green Council - a coalition of unions, studios, industry groups and non-profit organizations committed to eco-responsible entertainment - are moving forward swiftly.

National Executive Director's Report

Crabtree-Ireland began his report with a Return-to-Work update. He stated that the joint unions and the AMPTP have extended the Return to Work Agreement to April 1, 2023.

Crabtree-Ireland also reported on the results of a member survey with questions regarding the employers' ability to mandate vaccine requirements on their productions noting that a supermajority of 67.1% of members surveyed said that they approve of employers requiring COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of access to sets, 26.1% disapproved, and 6.8% had no opinion.

Reporting on set safety, Crabtree-Ireland reiterated the union's statement regarding possible criminal charges in the Rust production tragedy, saying that "an actor's job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert."

Crabtree-Ireland announced that in 2022 we had significant growth in our publicity and social media reaching even more members on Youtube and email. We had strong video views and audio downloads across platforms keeping members informed, enhancing contract knowledge, empowering careers and providing inspiration.

Crabtree-Ireland reminded the National Board that all SAG-AFTRA offices nationwide will be reopening on Monday, January 30, 2023. The union's offices will return to normal operating hours and the masking and mandatory vaccination policy will remain in place for the safety of staff and other members.

Crabtree-Ireland also reported on the recently announced partnership with Netflix, the new home of the SAG Awards. With this new deal, the SAG Awards will be the first major award show to be released live on a streaming platform. He explained that the decision to partner with Netflix was based on a number of factors, including the platform's genuine enthusiasm for the show and the ability to invest resources in expanding the global audience for the SAG Awards. Describing Netflix as a "streaming powerhouse," Crabtree-Ireland noted the streamer's primary focus on film and television strongly aligns with our focus on the Awards. He concluded his report by stating that this year's SAG Awards stream will be on Netflix's YouTube channel and, starting in 2024, will be streamed live on the Netflix platform.

Finance Report

Secretary-Treasurer Joely Fisher and Chief Financial Officer Arianna Ozzanto presented the second quarter financials reporting that results are ahead of plan.

The National Board approved a finance committee recommendation to hold initiation fees at their current rates and to increase base dues from $227.42 to $231.96 as per the Merger Agreement effective May 1st, 2023.

Contracts Report

Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez, National Director, Voiceover Treslyn Williams, and Senior Director, Entertainment Contracts (TV & New Media) Steven Meicke reported on the tentative dubbing agreement with nine major dubbing producers, which the National Board ratified without objection.

Legal and Governance Reports

The National Board reviewed and approved several routine administrative matters and approved a recommendation from the Government Review Committee that the 2023 SAG-AFTRA Convention be held virtually from October 21-23.

The National Board unanimously confirmed that Global Rule One covers entering into any agreement with an employer to use a digital replica of a member's voice or image to create a new performance. As such, members should not assign these rights to any employer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the union.

In addition, the union reiterated its position that the right to simulate a performer's voice, likeness, or performance using digital technology is a mandatory subject of bargaining. Any language in a performer's contract which attempts to acquire digital simulation or digital creation rights is void and unenforceable until the terms have been negotiated with the union.

The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m. PT.