The SAG-AFTRA National Board also today approved the layoff of 60 staffers beginning in May as the organization shutters 10 of its 25 offices. This reduction of its geographical footprint is surprising, considering that current SAG leadership came to power campaigning on a platform of spreading power outside Hollywood:
In other action, the board approved a fiscal year 2014 budget that will lead to a strategic restructuring of the union’s operations. The plan corrects a roughly $6 million structural deficit between revenue and expenses relating to pre-merger legacy costs of the prior organizations.
The restructuring process calls for the consolidation and closure of 10 of the union’s 25 offices nationwide, and will reduce staff by about 60 positions across the country. The staff reductions will begin in early May.
The moves are designed to position the union for strength and growth in major media markets and emerging production areas, and to ensure that institutional resources are focused on core operational functions and improved member services.
“This weekend, our leadership made several critical decisions confirming a strategic path that refocuses this organization on core principles. We have addressed a structural deficit that relates to legacy costs and positions the union for long-term health and power. These moves ensure that we can adapt to the evolving industries in which our members earn a living, and are better able to protect them wherever they work around the world,” White said.
Howard said: “Restructuring is a necessary step to ensure sound operating principles, fiscal resiliency, long-term sustainability and the realization of our mission to provide strong representation and efficient and effective member services far into the future.”
“This is a difficult undertaking and we are obligated to be wise stewards of the members’ resources while remaining laser-focused on our core union mission,” said Reardon. “We are a national union committed to excellent service in vibrant markets across the country. That won’t change.”
SAG-AFTRA will refocus its geographic footprint to maintain brick-and-mortar offices in 15 markets across the country, including eight major markets, and seven broadcast/emerging markets that together represent over 93 percent of the union’s membership. The eight major markets are Los Angeles, New York, Washington-Mid Atlantic, Chicago, San Francisco, New England, Philadelphia, and Miami. The seven broadcast/emerging markets are Dallas-Ft. Worth, Seattle, Atlanta, Nashville, Hawaii, Ohio-Pittsburgh and Missouri Valley. The geographic restructuring process will take place over the next several months.
The plan calls for the creation of a member review committee that will work with the professional staff to review the impact of the transition and report back to the Board in April 2014.
White says that office closures will not mean reduced core services or scaled-back representation in the long-term.
“We have to think differently about how we move forward in the world to support over 165,000 professionals who work in front of a camera or behind a microphone around the globe,” he added.
The national board met April 20 and 21 in Los Angeles. The meeting was adjourned at 3 p.m.