SAG-AFTRA’s latest financial report shows that the union is on sound financial footing. Income topped $200 million for the first time, and dues from members passed $100 million for the first time.
The union’s net worth – its net assets – nearly have quadrupled during the past four years, according to a detailed report the union filed recently with the U.S. Department of Labor. In the first year after the merger, the union had only $11.8 million in net assets, which are its total assets minus its total liabilities. The next year, its net worth nearly doubled to $21.3 million. Last year, it nearly tripled over the first year to $33.1 million, and this year it has $46.5 million in net assets.
Total assets this year topped a quarter-billion dollars for the first time, while total liabilities were nearly $196 million.
SAG-AFTRA’s payroll is down significantly from the first year following the 2012 merger, due largely to an economy of scale. At the end of the first year, staff salaries totaled $49.1 million. During the past year, the staff was paid $40.9 million – a drop of 17%.
The union’s single biggest outlay every year is for representational activities, which include negotiating, administrating and enforcing its contracts. Last year, SAG-AFTRA spent $71 million on representational activities – up from $68.8 million four years ago.
Investments, meanwhile, ballooned to $45.6 million this year, compared with $36.3 million four years ago, a 25% increase. General overhead is down $1.5 million from four years ago, from $55.5 million to $54 million today. Union administration is up from $9.3 million four years ago to $10.1 million today.
In the first full year following the merger, the union collected $78 million in dues from its members. During the past year, it collected $105 million in dues – a 35% increase. In each of the prior two years, it pulled in $91 million.
That increase came despite the fact that the union has fewer active members than it did four years ago, meaning that those who are working today are making a lot more money under the guild’s contracts – and paying more dues on it – than they did in 2012.
The latest report shows that there are 158,479 active members, slightly more than the 156,843 from the year before but down significantly from the 168,593 in each of the first two years following the 2012 merger.
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