Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Los Angeles, (June 9, 2009) – Screen Actors Guild announced today that members have voted overwhelmingly to approve its TV/Theatrical contracts by a vote of 78 percent to 22 percent.

The two-year successor agreement covers film and digital television programs, motion pictures and new media productions. The pact becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. June 10, 2009 and expires June 30, 2011.

The contracts provide more than $105 million in wages, increased pension contributions, and other gains and establishes a template for SAG coverage of new media formats.

Approximately 110,000 SAG members received ballots of which 35.26 percent returned them – a return that is above average compared with typical referenda on Screen Actors Guild contracts. Integrity Voting Systems of Everett, WA, provided election services and tonight certified the final vote tally upon completion of the tabulation.

The vote count in the Hollywood Division was 70.70 percent to 29.30 percent in favor. In the New York Division, the vote count was 85.74 percent to 14.26 percent in favor. And in the Regional Branch Division, the vote count was 89.06 percent to 10.94 percent in favor.

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg said, "The membership has spoken and has decided to work under the terms of this contract that many of us, who have been involved in these negotiations from the beginning, believe to be devastatingly unsatisfactory. Tomorrow morning I will be contacting the elected leadership of the other talent unions with the hope of beginning a series of pre-negotiation summit meetings in preparation for 2011. I call upon all SAG members to begin to ready themselves for the battle ahead,” Rosenberg added.

Screen Actors Guild Interim National Executive Director David White said, “This decisive vote gets our members back to work with immediate pay raises and puts SAG in a strong position for the future. Preparation for the next round of negotiations begins now. Our members can expect more positive changes in the coming months as we organize new work opportunities, repair and reinvigorate our relationships with our sister unions and industry partners, and continue to improve the Guild’s operations.”

Screen Actors Guild Chief Negotiator John McGuire said, "I want to thank the SAG members and staff who dedicated their time to the negotiations process. We emerged with a solid deal that the members have now voted up. The negotiating team worked tirelessly, building on the work of the first negotiating committee, to deliver these improvements to members.”

Screen Actors Guild began talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on April 15, 2008. Guild Chief Negotiator John McGuire, Interim National Executive Director David White, and Deputy National Executive Director for Contracts Ray Rodriguez, working with a 10-person negotiating task force comprised of Screen Actors Guild board members and officers representing the three divisions, reached the tentative agreement on April 16, 2009 after 12 months of periodic negotiations with the motion picture studios and television networks.

For further information on the new contract, including the full text and a summary of the agreement, click here.


Tony Shalhoub, actor
“This is a great decision for SAG and I’m so appreciative of everything the new leadership is doing to put the Guild back on track. They’ve obviously got the right ideas for making SAG stronger.”

Stephen Collins, actor
"This contract passed because members knew it was time to take advantage of the gains our negotiators won and get back to work. On top of that, they understood that risking our ability to negotiate alongside AFTRA and the other unions in the 2011 negotiations would have been a huge mistake. It's a great day for SAG."

Sam Freed, actor, 2nd National Vice President
“This decision by the membership marks the end of a very long process. We can now move forward with a new sense of certainty.”

Sue-Anne Morrow, actor, National Board Member representing New York
"This is a good deal with good gains. SAG's members clearly agree. It's about time we got a raise. I'm so pleased that SAG's members exercised their right to be heard and said 'Yes!'."

Mike Hodge, actor, National Board Member representing New York
“I am extremely pleased that we have finally come to the close of a long, unproductive period. I am hopeful that we can heal our wounds and really start the work to become a unified, national union.”

Nancy Duerr, actor, National Board Member representing SAG Florida Branch
"This is a victory for SAG performers across our region. Stalled and delayed productions can now get underway, boosting our local economies. This contract not only puts more money in members' pockets, it preserves the high standards of working conditions our members have come to expect."

Todd Hissong, actor, Chicago Branch President, National Board Member
"By passing this referendum, Chicago members have sent a clear message that we want to get back to work. Screen Actors Guild members across the country have yet again demonstrated our grasp of the issues, the importance of unionism, and our need to stand together with our sister unions to make deals that benefit us all.”

David Hartley-Margolin, Colorado actor, SAG 3rd Vice President
“The membership always has the last word when it comes to contract matters. They have spoken. Their endorsement of the deal with the AMPTP ends the uncertainty that has been hovering over us and allows Screen Actors Guild and the industry to move forward together.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker to Welcome SAG Leaders

Atlanta, GA (June 2, 2009) – The leadership of the Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Division (RBD) will meet for their annual board meeting June 6-7 in Atlanta, Georgia. The RBD includes 20 Branches spanning from Boston to Hawaii. Nearly 24,000 Screen Actors Guild members who work in film and television live in the regional branches.

Georgia Branch SAG member and human rights activist Elizabeth Omilami will open the board meeting for the SAG RBD. Omilami is the daughter of Civil Rights activist Hosea Williams and CEO of the organization founded by her late father, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless.

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker will present the welcome address. Baker is a candidate for governor in 2010. Among his many legal accomplishments since becoming attorney general in 1997, Baker has worked on local anti-piracy legislation and tax incentives for filming in the state.

The inaugural Howard Keel Award will be presented at the RBD board meeting, named for the legendary actor and former SAG President Howard Keel. The award is given to a person (or persons) who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of Screen Actors Guild and to the welfare and benefit of members in their Branch or the Regional Branch Division as part of a national union. This year, the RBD will honor Edith Ivey of the Georgia Branch and Fern Persons of the Chicago Branch.

About Howard Keel
Howard Keel burst onto the international scene in 1947 via his London theatrical performance as “Curly” in Oklahoma! Memorable film roles followed, including Annie Get Your Gun, Showboat, Kiss Me Kate and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Mr. Keel became SAG’s 10th National President (1958–59) and during his term the SAG National Board was increased from 39 to 52 seats, allowing for Branch representation - for the first time - from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and Boston.

About the Honorees
Fern Persons (Chicago) became a member of the Screen Actors Guild almost as soon as the Branch was established in 1953, and served on the local Council for 44 years. Prior to the 1970’s, Branches outside of Hollywood and New York rotated service as a single shared Vice Presidency. Fern Persons led the fight to establish permanent, numbered Vice-President seats for members of the former Regional Branch Conference (now the RBD). The RBD as we know it exists in no small part due to the efforts of Fern Persons.

Edith Ivey (Georgia) has charmed audiences and bettered the lives of countless SAG members, devoting herself to enabling professional performers to live and work in Georgia and throughout the Southeast. A member since 1953, she served on numerous committees - Seniors, Agent Relations, Nominating Committees, etc. Her compassion and tenacious dedication to local members has been an incalculable asset, yet her greatest accomplishment was her co-founding of the Georgia “Casting About” program. Through “Casting About” local members were given the chance to meet face to face with casting directors from all over the Southeast, allowing members to showcase their talent as well as build productive relationships for the future. This “members only” event exposed hundreds of local actors to significant casting people in our area and led to numerous work opportunities for SAG members. Edith has been awarded the “SAG Georgia Life Achievement Award” for her efforts and is without question one of that Branch’s most beloved members.