SAG-AFTRA late Friday night finalized the list of candidates for its first national elections since the 2012 merger.
SAG’s Howard and AFTRA’s Roberta Reardon have been co-presidents since March of last year, when members approved the merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Morales is heading a slate of candidates for Membership First, the group that opposed the merger since it became an in issue in 1999. They'll try to gain control of the SAG-AFTRA board from the Unite for Strength faction, which is headed by Howard and avidly pursued merger.
Reardon is running for president of the union’s New York local against three-time incumbent Mike Hodge, who heads the N.Y.-based United Screen Actors Nationwide, another faction that was pro-merger.
The candidates for National Secretary-Treasurer are Amy Aquino and Jane Austin.
Ballots for the national, Los Angeles and New York elections will go out Tuesday and the deadline for their return is Aug. 15. The president, secretary-treasurer and the majority of the board seats will be filled.
Candidates in the Michigan, Nashville and Portland local elections ran unopposed and results will be announced next week.
The union's contract with the studios and networks that covers feature films and primetime TV, expires roughly a year from now. Dates for those talks have not been set, but the union will begin work on its its wages and working conditions proposal after the elections.
The complete list of candidates can be found on the 2013 SAG-AFTRA election web site. Here are the candidates for national positions and their bios:
National President – 2 year term
Paul Edney - Born and raised in England before moving to USA. I spent 15 months in Iraq 2007-8. Currently completing my Masters degree in Communication. I have appeared in over 65 SAG/AFTRA productions, mostly Background, but also Principal and Featured roles. Plus many commercials. I am on the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations Committee. Very active in union politics, especially social media, like actors’ Facebook groups. Are you better off now than before the merger? A recent poll suggests not. I want to change that by ending split earnings; raising the number of Background hires etc. Visit my website www.pauledney.com, then vote. Thank you.
Ken Howard – We merged to increase our bargaining power and made historic gains as a result. Our new Commercials Contract delivers $238 million more in wages and benefits – that’s REAL strength. Now we must achieve even greater gains in film, television and new media. I’ve made my living under our contracts for 44 years; I want to give back by making our contracts and union stronger for future generations. That’s why I focused on merger. Now I want to focus on delivering a strong TV/Theatrical Contract and seeing that our benefits are safely merged. Endorsed by www.USANLeadership.com and www.UniteforStrength.com.
Marilyn Monrovia - Don’t Bogart the union membership card! While I was not able to become a SAG member until later in life, I want SAG to be an organization that benefits people of any age and at any time along the continuum of their artistic journey. We need to work together as one. And with producers to encourage compliance with contracts. Although I’m currently background talent, I am on first base with SAG and am prepared to go to bat for actors. I plan to help enforce the current policies for protection of all. Photo Lanning Gold…you dirty rat.
Esai Morales – As an experienced “actorvist”, I will refine how this merged union can benefit all members. The current delay in residuals is unacceptable. I will hasten the unions promise of merging the pension and health plans. I will ensure that our readiness for the 2014 TV/Theatrical contract negotiations is unparalleled. SAG-AFTRA can no longer operate in the red. I will establish worldwide recognition, branding and proper industry respect for SAG-AFTRA. For our background performers I will lead the vetting of the costly and questionable hiring practices. Support Jane Austin for Secretary-Treasurer. For more details about my platform, visit www.membership1st.org.
National Secretary-Treasurer – 2 year term
Amy Aquino – When something matters to me, I simply don’t give up. After two merger efforts failed, I came back as SAG Secretary-Treasurer for a third; we prevailed. With checks multiplying by millions a year, residuals handling needs fundamental change. So when I was brought a proposal for a revolutionary new payment system, I wouldn’t stop until SAG-AFTRA agreed to help test it; we’re starting that this fall. Other challenges ahead- health plan merger, contract negotiations, long-term fiscal security – require vision and persistence. You can count on me for both. Current Co-Secretary-Treasurer, SAG P & H Trustee. www.amyaquino.com. Endorsed by www.UniteforStrength.com
Jane Austin -Endorsed by www.membership1st.org. A member for 25 years. Served for several years on both SAG and AFTRA National Boards. I am not only an experienced stunt performer but a experienced business woman, making me qualified for the job. I understand the economics of this business and the financial needs of performers. I’ve been a voting member of the last 3 TV/Theatrical contract negotiations and know my way around balance sheets. My first two goals: Guide this union out of its financial hole and get residuals to members faster. Please support me and presidential candidate Esai Morales.