SAG-AFTRA is branching out. It’s no longer just a union for actors and singers, dancers and broadcasters – it now represents the employees at the Better Government Association, a watchdog group in Chicago whose more than 20 full- and part-time employees voted unanimously today to join the performers’ union.

SAGAFTRALogoVertical
SAG-AFTRA

The BGA produces digital content that’s a mix of print, video and audio. According to the guild, the watchdog group “regularly partners with SAG-AFTRA radio and television stations to produce content collaboratively.”

“We’re glad to join the SAG-AFTRA family, especially going into the Labor Day holiday,” the BGA staff said in a statement. “With this move we see a bright future for the BGA rooted in independent and responsible journalism and policy work. We look forward to beginning good-faith negotiations at the earliest appropriate time – we hope management feels the same.”

Said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris: “BGA employees deserve a say in their wages and working conditions, and by joining SAG-AFTRA, they have empowered themselves to have their voices heard,” On behalf of all our members, welcome to the union.”

Added SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White: “As an organization with a long history of holding government accountable to the people it serves, the BGA is a well-respected media organization that provides a critical service to the community. Joining SAG-AFTRA puts these employees in a position to negotiate a fair contract so they can continue to focus on what they do best: award-winning investigative journalism.”

The BGA is an independent organization focusing on government transparency and accountability. It produces digital content that is a mix of print, video and audio. It regularly partners with SAG-AFTRA radio and television stations to produce content collaboratively.

According to its website, the BGA’s mission “is to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing waste, fraud and corruption, advocating effective public policy and informing and engaging the community.

The BGA works within Five Pillars of Action – to investigate, litigate, educate, advocate and communicate – in an effort to bring better government to Illinois. We go beyond exposing problems to proposing solutions and advocating good government reforms.”

Today’s vote, SAG-AFTRA said, “means the staff will join more than 160,000 media professionals in the union, paving the way for BGA employees to negotiate a first contract.”