New Union: Series (5of5): $$$$$ n’ Pension

So now we come to the “biggie.” I say that, because this was the propaganda tool regarding merger. I’m not saying that because I don’t feel it is ultra important…I do. Remember, I’m many years vested (meaning I have a pension), so the bottom line is that it means a great deal to me. However, the level of concern I feel is a slight exaggeration. The existing pensions are guaranteed, the question is more about eventually merging them. Now, I stood by the existing leadership at SAG prior to the merger, showing faith that they would not screw this up…considering how many of them have a pension at risk too. Continue reading

New Union: Series (4of5): Modified Limitations

So now it is time to discuss this little issue I have moving forward with our NEW UNION. The SAG-AFTRA merger is predicated on “more strength” “consolidation of wasted Admin monies and effort” along with of course “more bargaining power.” Well, by God, if this is going to be the case then we better do something about “Modified Agreements.” Continue reading

New Union: Series (3of5): Modern Admin.

Now this is probably the easiest of this series to write because it is so ridiculously obvious what must be done. If you’re a newer actor the Admin technology I’ll be discussing is easy to understand, but you’ll not have had as much experience with the problem. If you’re a longer term, more veteran, or older actor who has been a working actor for some time then you know what I mean. Why in the HELL am I still get .13 cent checks in the mail? Continue reading

New Union: Series (2of5): Monitoring

Here is the second such entry on my series regarding where we are after the newly MERGED unions of SAG-AFTRA. The subject of this post is very clear, WAY overdue, and going to become on of the main 3 reasons actors either survive or don’t…in my opinion. Continue reading

New Union: Series (1of5): Eligibility

Well congratulations to the current leadership of the NEW UNION, SAG-AFTRA. I mean that both in humor, and quite damn seriously. We all have this wonderful or sick feeling that this arduous process and HUMP is over with. On some levels I agree, but on the other hand, what would the point of all this merger hell for the last 50+ years mean if we didn’t actually have it IMPROVE our profession, income, and contracts? Nothing. So here I am, impressing upon you that in truth, it is a Carpenter’s song: “We’ve only just begun…” Continue reading

SAG-AFTRA Merger: Series (5 of 5): The Future!

So what in the world has all this been about besides, ego, $$$$$, power, and control? Good question, cuz I’m not sure. As stated in Part 1, I’ve never understood why we could not reach a place of truly pulling together sooner OR have clarified differences and separation much sooner as things became more and more muddled after the mid-80’s. But again, that is too late as we’re here and it is TODAY but while we tarry technology, the economy, and everything else moves on. I write this as I watch the Oscars in the Kodak (your name here) theatre. By definition, THINGS CHANGE, as Kodak the film company is of course in Chapter 11. Continue reading

SAG-AFTRA Merger: Series (4 of 5): Our Money

I’ve saved this for next to last, because I do think in the end, this is the subject that has divided us more recently on the subject or concept of merger as opposed to the reasons that lead to the creation of the two different unions. Because so many years have passed and the differences were so stark for so long, it is hard to imagine them together. And again with the number of dollars that have put away into Pension and Health plans it becomes a daunting task to consider how, why or what is best. But again, the great equalizer is technology, and what I first want to discuss is the amount of work potentially BEING LOST the money potentially BEING LOST because of fragmentation of contracts…in the face of New Media. Continue reading

SAG-AFTRA Merger: Series 3 of 5: Mixed Nuts

So this part of the series focuses on what we’ll call “the others.” No, it isn’t a movie reference, and it is also not meant in ANY way to lessen who they are or their value. The reason I use that phrase is that it is what “people think” or how they phrase it when not in mixed company. It is focused on all of the NON-dual SAG/AFTRA cardholders that aren’t really discussed as ACTORS. AFTRA has about 68,000 members nationwide and about 45,000 of them are SAG members too. This clearly leaves 23,000 AFTRA only folks, which are basically broken down as: Continue reading

SAG-AFTRA Merger: Series 2 of 5: SAGcentric

Over the last 15 years every time the word merger got mentioned…I cringed. I didn’t cringe because the thought of it was repulsive, I cringed because there just did not seem to be enough people who had a real vested interest as actors in truly coming up with a CONSTRUCT that would make any sense. And in addition to that, more than 90% of my work has been with my parent union, SAG. So as this time has come I have begun looking at some of the key elements that to me…should be a part of a heavily populated performers union. I do feel, that these elements are a key component in the consideration of a merger because I do think that they make the union stronger. Additionally, if you’re going to MIX anything…unless it has the EXACT composition of the other is the same, then there is going to have to be some INTELLIGENT compromise. I believe that is typically called…a marriage. Continue reading