ned-vaughn.JPGThis comes to me from actor Ned Vaughn, one of the SAG petition drivers lobbying for an earnings threshold requirement for “qualified voting” on SAG contract issues:”As one of the leaders behind the drive to implement affected member voting at SAG, I’d like to clarify something. This push is decidedly NOT about ‘elite’ actors taking anything away from anyone—rather, it is a grass roots effort representing a broad spectrum of the Guild’s membership. Those supporting change certainly include top stars, but it is overwhelmingly a movement of rank and file actors who recognize that such a change is necessary to put SAG on its strongest footing heading into the upcoming contract negotiation. sag-2.jpgThe list of over 900 supporters includes many who have noted that they themselves may be excluded from voting on given contracts, should a work-related voting requirement be adopted—but they also recognize that strengthening SAG in this way ultimately benefits all members by securing better contracts.

“The WGA made such a change 15 years ago and it played no small part in the strength and solidarity so evident in their successfully concluded strike. By making sure that their bargaining position genuinely reflected the will of their working members, the WGA made it clear to the industry that they meant business. (In fact, the WGA reform far exceeded what we are proposing—that change involved an entire restructuring of membership classification, while our proposal focuses solely on the issue of contract voting).

“We are looking forward to working in partnership with SAG leaders to craft and adopt a reasonable, flexible and inclusive standard to define those members who are affected by contract voting outcomes. By making sure that our contracts are ratified—or rejected—by those who bear the consequences, the Guild can enter the upcoming negotiation with renewed strength and the clear message that SAG means business.”