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SAG Allocates Additional $70,000 to Merger Task Force

A day after the AFTRA board gave its greenlight to continued merger talk, SAG gave the endeavor some financial backing

A day after the national board of the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists voted to keep on talking merger with the Screen Actors Guild, SAG's national board dedicated an additional $70,000 to further exploring that possibility.

Here's the full SAG press release:

SAG National Board of Directors Convenes by Video Conference
In Los Angeles and New York

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK, (January 23, 2011) — The Screen Actors Guild <http://www.sag.org> National Board of Directors today met via regularly scheduled one-day videoconference in Los Angeles and New York.
The board unanimously passed a motion allocating up to $70,000 in additional funding to the SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force.  The allocation will fund the continuing efforts of the Task Force and The Presidents’ Forum for One Union to develop a framework for the formation of a new union combining the members of Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA.
The board also received several reports including:
National President’s Report

Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard praised yesterday’s AFTRA National Board resolution in support of uniting SAG and AFTRA members in one union.
“Now is the time to focus our attention, our resources, and our very best efforts on completing the journey to one union. I’m confident we will make it, and that our members now and in the future will be the better for it,” Howard said.

President Howard also addressed the recent, overwhelming ratification of the Screen Actors Guild TV/Theatrical Agreements noting the outstanding level of support from Screen Actors Guild members.
“A 94% approval not only says that members support the contract – it says they support our leadership. It’s very encouraging to see the board and members in that kind of alignment, and I think it bodes well for what lies ahead,” Howard said.
President Howard recognized the hard work of all parties who made successful negotiations possible, particularly praising SAG’s senior negotiating team of Chief Negotiator and National Executive Director David White, Deputy National Executive Director for Contracts Ray Rodriguez and Senior Advisor John McGuire.  
President Howard also thanked the members across the country who participated in the W&W process; the members of the negotiating committee; SAG’s contracts, legal, and research departments and support staff; and our counterparts at AFTRA, especially co-chair, AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon.
National Secretary Treasurer’s Report

Screen Actors Guild National Secretary Treasurer Amy Aquino delivered an update on Guild finances reporting that revenues and expenses are tracking to the FY11 budget. Aquino presented the finance committee motion allocating additional budget to the SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force.
National Executive Director’s Report

Screen Actors Guild National Executive Director David White updated the Board on improvements in the residuals processing function and the development of new online processes for signing producers to Screen Actors Guild agreements. White also reported on the production of the Guild’s multi-part video training program and industry outreach projects including the Contract Primer slide presentation and audio podcast that was distributed to nearly 2,000 entertainment industry leaders across the country. www.sag.org/contract-primer

Government Relations and Policy Report on Digital Content Theft

Screen Actors Guild National Director of Government Relations and Policy Nancy Fox updated the Board on the industry-wide fight against digital content theft.  Fox presented a broad view of overall efforts and discussed several Guild initiatives supporting the anti-theft fight.
SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force Report

The Board received an update on the activities of The Presidents’ Forum for One Union including reports on the listening tour meetings being held around the country.
In other business, the Board took action on several routine administrative and governance items.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:18 p.m., PST and 9:18 p.m., EST.