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?Ok, so as we move forward in this new SAG-AFTRA “One Union” merger we now have, how about we start finding some intelligence within our own industry. So when you go to the W & W meetings (Wage & Working) and listen to them talk…bring this up. We in the world do we not have an authorized EFT system for our members? It is utterly insane. This is so simple to integrate into our Union based on its resources and technology.
Step 1: No paper need to exchange hands. All things are done by Social Security number. We can receive an email each time Residuals are sent to us. You can click on the email and it will take you to the SAG-AFTRA site, where you’ll be prompted to login, and then it will default to a simple screen…just like what your checks come in to show you the “pay stub” information. If you wish to print it you may, if not, if just remains in your history.
Step 2: Then you, me, we have an account which we can then go to and see all of the payments that have been made to us. We have the option to just let it sit there if we wish. That would be a pseudo “escrow” account holding it by our Union, and when we want to “take our money” we simply process a simple (EFT) Electronic Funds Transfer. This is absolutely no different than PayPal has been doing for YEARS and YEARS. We are left with the ability to move money as often or as little as desired. There can be a number of “EFT’s” that are free and then over a certain amount has a small processing fee attached.
Step 3: Then the system can be easily set up to “Auto-process” a YEAR END, at-a-glance PDF which is automatically emailed or just an email reminder that then again takes you to the site where you can print/download the year-end master overview report. Simple.
Take a moment, with 160,000+ plus members nationwide, and try to imagine the amount of paper, admin time and cost that would be saved over the course of just a few years. You want a more efficient system, you want ONE union that’s going to work for you, to protect you, to help you, to SAVE the resource money needed to make our lives, careers, and monies better…then this is an ABSOLUTE necessity. PERIOD.
What else would this allow? Simple, it would give you the ability to “save up” Residuals so that you may then transfer those monies for your Dues if needed. Realize there are literally thousands of members like me who get senseless checks for under a 1.00 all year long. It is more of a hassle to have to get them, copy them, account for them, track them etc. etc. then to just let them sit in an account. I URGE you to not let this issue sleep. It must be improved and this must be a priority of our “new leadership.”
My best always, Kevin E.