Update on the Codified Corporate/Educational & Non Broadcast Contract Waiver & Abstract for the Pacific Northwest

Hello friends and fellow AFTRA Seattle Members,

I want you to know that I do support approval of this waiver. I believe that it will set up NW Union Actors for success and bring us many more opportunities to ply our craft in Principal roles. I know that there is concern from Members that Background work on the current contract will no longer be required. I am concerned as well. But I have faith that by organizing work that is currently not under Union contract, will outweigh and give us a greater return on our investment than what we have under our current contract conditions. And it gives us leverage for future negotiations having actual signatories to negotiate with.

This streamlined contract has 10 months of hard work and vetting from local Union Members including myself up to the highest levels of SAG’s legal department. With our hopeful merger between AFTRA and SAG, this is a far-sighted plan to truly organize, cultivate and grow the North West as a market where Union Actors can make a steady income.

The joint SAG/AFTRA Corporate/Educational/Non-Broadcast National Standing Committee voted yes to grant our waiver and it can be put into action as soon as the AFTRA Seattle Board votes to approve it.  Show AFTRA you support this waiver and post your support here. At the bottom of this post, feel free to comment and to answer my poll question. Remember, our Performers’ Unions are only as strong as their Members so I need to hear from you so that I can convey your support to the Seattle AFTRA Board.

Yesterday we passed the second to the last hurdle to acceptance of this waiver.  The AFTRA-SAG Industrial Standing Committee responsible for considering waivers of this kind voted it up nearly unanimously, with all members save one supporting the waiver.  The committee requires one final step for approval: That Seattle AFTRA formally vote YES on this waiver, as Portland AFTRA & SAG, and Seattle SAG, already have.  

 This waiver is 3 pages long and was developed with input from members, Pacific Northwest employers and staff nationwide.  It embodies essentially the same wages and the exact working conditions reflective of the 90-page full contract.  Its language was suggested as a result of deep research into SAG staffers’ input nationally; and membership and employers’ needs.  The work contributes to pension & health and/or health & retirement, and toward vesting.
As soon as AFTRA Seattle votes YES, our executive directors will begin promoting this sleek, modern contract to employers and members (some employers have already been asking staff “Is the waiver ready yet?”).  Soon, doors closed to us will open again, and we will become competitive with the non-union and dues-paying non-members enjoying industrial work. Soon, employers will have a chance to recall how much better union performers are, and how much better their product is as a result. And we’ll have a chance to reach pre-union members and show them what it means to be union.
It includes a provision for low-budget industrial work that is not in the 90-pager, similar to the very successful SAG Indie low-budget contract.
Four of five bodies have already voted this up: Portland AFTRA & SAG, unanimously; Seattle SAG, unanimously; and the SAG-AFTRA Industrial Standing Committee, who only requires that Seattle AFTRA vote on the waiver to proceed.
Sincerely,
Rik Deskin

PACIFIC NORTHWEST ACTORS SPEAK IN FAVOR

of the

Codified Corporate/Educational & Non Broadcast Contract Waiver & Abstract

A nice part of my living was made from the Industrial Contract in the past.  It contributed to my health, pension, and vesting.  It was also an opportunity to connect with other members on the same job, and to impress employers with union skill.  I’m looking forward to a return of that work for our market, and ask the committee to approve the COED waiver to the Industrial Contract.

— Mary McDonald-Lewis, SAG National Board Member, AFTRA President

+++++

I came to Portland in 1995 at a time when there was so much AFTRA work–commercials, industrials–that I was able to finish qualifying for my pension–which I had begun in Los Angeles.  We were busy and respected.  I am in hope that we may return to that kind of market–it would go hand in hand with the growing, vibrant Equity theatre scene.

–Tobias Andersen, AFTRA & SAG council member

+++++

I think this agreement is perfect for our market – especially at a time when we are working to brand ourselves as open and accessible.  The agreement is succinct and removes any argument by producers that a formalized contract is too much bother.

Thank you for your consideration.

— Anita Barry, AFTRA council, SAG member

+++++

I am in favor of the COED waiver to the Industrial Contract. It is both brief and readable, two attributes held high by today’s professional performer.

— Duane Hanson, AFTRA council, SAG member

+++++

In the 1990s I worked under the Industrial Contract.  In fact it was one of my best paying gigs!  It would be wonderful to have this market back and going strong again!  I support and welcome with great anticipation the approval of the COED waiver to the Industrial Contract .

— Wendy Martel Vilkin, SAG secretary & council member

+++++

I applaud this effort to streamline this agreement and make it simple and user-friendly for actors and producers alike.

— Chrisse Roccaro, AFTRA national board member, SAG vice president

+++++

I support and applaud this effort.  Union contracted Industrials provided a good portion of my income back in the day and secured Health Insurance eligibility. The prospect of revitalizing Union inclusion in this aspect of our Industry couldn’t come at a better time.  YES.

— Michele M. Mariana, AFTRA Vice President, SAG council member

+++++

I endorse this effort.

— Alex Sandy Mackenzie, SAG council member

+++++

We’re living in a time of confusion and complexity. This contract is succinct and easy to read. I think it’s really going to appeal to time- and resource-challenged clients.

Doug Baldwin, SAG council member

+++++

I heartily support this. A clear and simple document.

— George Fosgate, AFTRA & SAG council member

+++++

The fact that both halves of Portland’s merged councils, AFTRA/SAG, are unanimous in their endorsement of the Codified Corporate/Educational & Non Broadcast Waiver & Abstract Contract developed by PNW SAG Executive, Dena Beatty, certainly recommends its acceptance.  Not only is it seen to make sense by both the holder and the signer of the said contract, but it impacts the life style of all union members for the better.

— Helena deCrespo, AFTRA & SAG council member

+++++

As an AFTRA/SAG member I urge the SAG-AFTRA Industrial Committee to support and approve the COED Waiver. While not as strong of industry as it once was here, it is none the less a piece of the pie, and has served to support many actors over the years. I and many of my AFTRA/SAG colleagues feel that this waiver will help to facilitate its renewed positive impact on our members.

— Karen Moulder, SAG council member

+++++

Back when I could very nearly support myself as an actor, Non-Broadcast was a good chunk of my income. I urge the support of  the COED waiver to the Industrial Contract.

— Don Stewart Burns, AFTRA council, SAG member

+++++

Like many other Branches and Locals, the Industrial Contract in the NW has traditionally covered the kind of work that I could count on for a reliable source of income.  The proliferation of non-union work in this area of our market has significantly decreased my opportunities for employment.   The proposed waiver for the NW is crucial in order to even begin to get industrial work back.  On behalf of NW SAG and AFTRA members, thank you for your consideration!

— Abby Dylan, SAG national board member & AFTRA member

+++++

As an AFTRA and SAG Member in the NW, I firmly support the Codified Corporate/Educational & Non Broadcast Contract Waiver & Abstract for the Pacific Northwest and believe that this will be a great organizing tool and a win-win scenario for all involved. As a union member working in Seattle, I urge you to approve this.

— Rik Deskin, AFTRA Member, SAG Seattle Council Member, AEA Liaison Committee Member

+++++

I also support the contract !!

— Cecil Cheeka, Seattle AFTRA/SAG Member

+++++

Does a comment here qualify? Then put me down in support!

— Eric Newman, Seattle AFTRA/SAG Member

+++++

You have my support for the Codified Corporate/Educational & Non Broadcast Contract Waiver & Abstract for the Pacific Northwest. Let’s support what our market needs and the union actors who make it happen. Let’s get to work!

–Basil Harris, Seattle AFTRA/SAG Member

+++++

I approve of this waiver if it helps the region in gaining back markets previously covered by the Guild.

— Michael Hilow – Stunt Coordinator, AFTRA Member, SAG Member

+++++

My name is Lashon Watson; I am a SAG Council Member at Large, and an active union member of both SAG and AFTRA. As an emerging Drama Therapist and Mental Health Counselor, I foresee the importance of supporting the Corporate Educational and Non Broadcast Contract Waiver. Committing ourselves to such an endeavor will allow us to set forth a flourishing creative arts community, moreover, help to sustain consistent and reliable jobs for union actors in the Pacific Northwest and abroad. Therefore, I am in support of the Corporate Educational and Non Broadcast Contract Waiver.

— Lashon Watson, SAG Council Member, AFTRA Member

+++++

This waiver is extremely important to the rank and file performers. It is simply equitable pay for a skilled worker. What could the argument possibly be?

— Ron Holmstrom SAG Council Member

+++++

I support the Co/Ed waiver for Pacific Northwest!

— Karen Lauer, SAG Member

+++++

I am writing to voice my support of the Northwest Co.Ed Waiver.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help in passage of the waiver.

— Karen Charnell, SAG Member

+++++

I’m an AFTRA member in Seattle and writing to say that I’m in support of the SAG waiver.  I love the union work I get in Seattle and having more available work would be so beneficial for so many of us.

— Amber Wolfe Wollam, AFTRA Member

+++++

I would like to ask you to support this waiver to the Northwest Educational Contract.  It has been thoroughly research in our market and it is what our membership and our employers want.  It has the support of the Seattle SAG Council and was supported at our General Membership Meeting.  It has the support of the Portland SAG Council and the Portland AFTRA Board.  It also has the support of Agents, Casting Directors, and employers who will use it.  It means putting our members back to work in our market and recapturing work that has gone non-union.  It can also be a useful tool in our organizing efforts.  This contract used to be the bread and butter for our members and it can be again if you grant this waiver.  Our members can start working tomorrow if you grant this waiver today.  If our membership is working and prospering then SAG is benefiting also.  Please grant us this opportunity to get our members working again and show that hiring Union is easy.

— Laura Kenny, AFTRA Board Member, SAG Branch Vice President

+++++

This Co/Ed waiver looks awesome and I give it the thumbs up for approval!!

— Paul Schweigert, SAG member

+++++

I would like to let you know that I stand behind this Co/Ed agreement 100 percent. Both my wife and my mother work as producers in the Seattle area and I can see firsthand how this is affecting us. This draft of the agreement seems to be the only chance we have to reclaim some of this work. Nice Job! Thanks,

— Alex Terzieff-Stuntman/Stunt Coordinator SAG Council Member and AFTRA Member

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About eclectictheater

Eclectic Theater is a professional theatre company in Seattle, WA., dedicated to producing and presenting original, contemporary and classic works for the stage and screen. Plays, Improv, Stand-Up and Sketch Comedy and more! Eclectic Theater is powered by Shunpike. Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that fuel innovation in the arts by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and providing direct services to arts groups of all kinds. Learn more at www.shunpike.org.
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