In the meantime, here’s “Arthur” on the sad state of SAG right now:
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Love the use of Ben Franklin’s snake
Nothing good will come from further disunity. Time to work together and move forward whatever the outcome is. Best of luck to all.
That’s a great picture Nikki. Although you could have titled it “Vote No or Die.”
I believe that the UFS and NY Division body areas should be closer to the anus of the snake, but that’s just me…
At least the head of the snake has been correctly labled as – “Unite for Strength”.
This is tragic, but true. No matter what the outcome of the vote, unless ALL SAG members can come together we will never succeed.
I dream of a day when the factions of the union no longer exist. When it’s not “either you’re with us or against us” mentality in the board room. When actors can agree to disagree and actually DISCUSS options to come up with a concensus that won’t be attacked when it gets to the membership.
We are hopelessly logjammed. No matter which side you are on, as long as there ARE sides we will be split too much to ever use the power of the guild to get us the gains we need.
I ask that EVERY BOARD MEMBER stop fighting with each other. I ask that Membership First, the NY Board and Unite for Strength STOP FIGHTING. This isn’t about any specific faction. As long as we fight ourselves, WE LOSE.
I think we all agree this contract is not great. It’s not anywhere near what it could be if we were united. However, as long as we are split as much as we are we stand no chance of getting at 75% stike authorization and the AMPTP KNOWS it. That’s the reason we don’t have a better deal. We have no clout. And No vote without the ability to actualy strike is meaningless. Thus we are in a catch-22.
Can’t we just stop fighting and look for common ground? Until we do, the AMPTP wins and every actor both now and in the future loses. And make no mistake that we will never be able to regain what we are losing now, no matter what the outcome of this vote may be.
In TRUE solidarity,
Good luck to all who fought the good fight. I hope tonight finds you all looking for the next best step to a fair and equitable contract.
If that is not the case, know that you fought hard, well and for the best of your union. Time will prove you right, sad as that may be.
Great cartoon..even if all the pieces are joined together, it’s still a low, crawling thing….
There’s some great unifying rhetoric there, Ace. Very witty.
Like it or not your views aren’t the only ones in our national union. You and yours seem to forget it is a union national comprised of actors that don’t necessarily make LA their home. Less divisive voices on both sides are the only thing that will get us what we ultimately want in the end. Divisiveness feeds into the AMPTP, don’t you get that?
Also, We need to give Qualified voting a real look. People like Ace should welcome such a thing since those of us who actually work these contracts will be in control of their outcome.
Looking forward to the results in the next hour or so.
That’s a great picture Nikki. Although you could have titled it “Vote Yes or Die.”
Just to be clear, regarding “coming together”.
Was MembershipFirst supposed to join UFS and rally around a bad contract?
Or should UFS had stopped it’s destructive campaign and joined MembershipFirst in trying to get a fair deal?
More will be revealed.
As a long time SAG member all I want to see is my union working together as a collective group to achieve the goals that will best benefit actors. This whole idea of divided membership not only weakens the union as a whole, but clouds the issues that the union needs to be dealing with. We elect a president and a board and no matter who it may be, lets trust those elected officials to guide the union as they see fit. after all WE VOTED FOR THEM! If they do a great job, keep em, if not vote em out!
@ Kevin (and others),
U4S and NYB caused the disharmony within SAG in the first place. I’ll give you that MF may have been a bit heavy-handed in the past, but they kept their differences with NYB in-house. As NYB and U4S should have done.
The divisiveness you speak of has been courted by NYB and U4S, and enhanced by the AMPTP’s spin. To walk up to a smoldering fire, stoke the flames with a poker into a full blaze and then shout “why is it so damn hot in here? – everybody ought to just cool off!” is bullshit. What is being described as “infighting” by some is merely a loose-cannon militant/political faction of SAG stirring up shit to their own end – which would justify the means to them.
If people really want us to “get along”, U4S needs to back the ‘F’ off and stop with the lies, power plays and weak negotiation tactics. You know – like a real union would do. In other words, before the divisiveness can end, the cause of that divisiveness must cease.
As I’ve always said, I’ll go along with however the membership votes and I’ll support the betterment of SAG, always. But NOT with these clown in charge of it. The damage they’ve already done is unconscionable.
P.S. @ Kevin: Really? Qualified voting again? Dude, who are you really? Who is this mysterious “Kevin” person. You spout U4S rhetoric and AMPTP spin talking points like you’re an Interim National Majority Board Club Member.
If the QV issue even gets near a memo dispersed among board members, U4S will have cut off its one good leg. Besides, if QV were to be implemented, then any SAG member who is also a producer in any way, shape or form, would also be ineligible to vote.
How’s that for qualified?
Ben writes, “At least the head of the snake has been correctly labled as – “Unite for Strength”.”
Unfortunately your observation sums up the UFS platform in a way I’m guessing you never intended.
The head, when severed from the body, no matter how “smart” it felt it was, kills the entire being.
I think what you call affected member voting could be paralleled to biting off the nose to spite the face. I think what you call “letter of dissent” could be paralleled with cutting off the body.
UFS: We’re the smart ones! We’re the head! We’ve been cut off all the useless body parts like the heart, the lungs, and all those useless innards and day players…gasp…gasp..gasp..but wait…we were right…gasp…gasp…. flatline.
I’m glad to be so mysterious. I’m just a working actor in NYC and one of the 78% who voted Yes on the contract.
But Enough bickering. We need to get united. As I’ve said in other posts, everyone wants what you want. We were in too weak a position to get it now. We won’t be in 2 years. We must re-align with Aftra…Aftra may not be a big deal in LA but every actor making a living in NYC is a dual member and being separated (and they felt pushed out the door by Alan and Doug) is plain dumb.
Maybe I need to hear the other side in the Qualified Voting debate but to me it only makes sense to implement it. I don’t work background or stunts etc, so why would they want my votes on the issues of their contracts. I work a lot of commercial, v.o., industrial and network contracts and it seems silly to me that someone who doesn’t work those contracts or who hasn’t worked any contract in years should be a determining factor in how those of us who do work those contracts make a living.
I believe it is how many other unions work. I think the initial proposal by U4S was too high of a bar to meet but there should be a basic standard one should to meet that should be agreeable.
And perhaps their should be voting restrictions on those who make their real livings as producers — not a bad idea.
Fine, Kevin. Sounds like your rhetoric has mellowed out some. I appreciate a thoughtful discourse without blind accusations and regurgitated talking points.
And you’re right: I want what (almost) everyone else wants – a united union. Your comments about why should someone who doesn’t work the (SAG) contract get to vote on it are valid. But by the same token, the AFTRA contract was ratified last year with a TON of help from newscasters, weathergirls, DJs, etc… Did AFTRA actors really approve their contract? Not a chance. And so, should only AFTRA actors vote on their portion of the contract? Absolutely. But that’s not the way it works, unfortunately.
Most of the SAG people who don’t work much don’t make the effort to vote anyway. Less than 35% of the membership voted this time, in fact. Who knows if the lesser-working SAG members would even step up to vote ‘NO’ on QV, which, ironically, would block them from voting.
The bulk of the SAG members you would like to block from voting (primarily based on income) are the same people who comprise a large portion of SAG revenue – the background actors, who are, arguably the largest voting block within the SAG ranks. BG paid to play – they paid to get into SAG, and they increase the P&H numbers, giving all of us more-affordable insurance. BG probably had a large hand in passing this contract referendum, as so little of it applies to them at this time in their career(s).
When everybody in a/the union votes on the whole contract, it covers a lot of inequities and shortcomings.
Should SAG have different contracts for TV and Feature Films, and vote on them separately? Yes – they’re different media with different terms. But without the threat of striking on features, TV contracts would never get a leg up. And so they’re bundled together.
Could non-actor AFTRA members support their union on their contract(s) alone (if they were to vote on only their portion of the contract)? Not a chance. Doing so would be more fair to each faction in the union, but the non-actors in AFTRA need the income from actors to fund their upside-down pension and to keep the union afloat.
If qualified voting is brought to the table, a Pandora’s Box of troubles will be enacted because dividing up the voting would severely damage the limited clout of the smaller factions. Bottom line is, I think you’d have a mutiny on your hands if QV gets floated.
All this strife. For what: the slim chance of participation in shit for meagre compensation? The SAG/AMPTP contract covers only the six corporations who produce imbecilic, juvenile swill. Why, if you are actors, would you be at all concerned? Corporate Hollywood now makes two movies about thirty times per year: comic book/video game and adolescent “comedy”. (I needn’t mention the idiocy of American television.)
There is a two tier wage system: the “star(s)” receive their multimillions and the rest of you are, at best, Schedule F. No negotiating. $60K for an entire movie, take it or leave it. Independent pictures of even a $10M budget will pay you as much if not more to do more satisfying work more often. The SAG Independent contracts are not governed by the humiliating demands of the corporate Hollywood agreement. Like the music industry and GM, Hollywood’s greed and decades of declining quality precludes their demise no matter how ruthlessly and desperately they struggle.