SAG’s ruling body delays size vote

Panel sends decision back to governance team

The ruling body of the Screen Actors Guild has again delayed reaching a final decision on whether to reduce its size from 107 to 62.

Rather than vote specifically on the hot-button issue, the panel decided on a 95 to 2 vote Thursday to send the question back to its governance team with the instructions to deliver a single recommendation to restructure the board, when the national board holds its Oct. 13 meeting.

Furthermore, the governance team was instructed to consider all possible restructuring plans submitted to it, rather than the specific recommendation to cut the panel to 62 members. The governance team was told to complete its work by October 9 when the regional branch conference is held.

Thursday’s deferral will spur backers of the plan to take the issue directly to members through an already launched petition drive for a referendum vote.

Gordon Drake, chief of the referendum committee, said more than 500 signatures had been gathered as of Thursday, and he predicted the 10,000 needed would be delivered by October.

The plan, which would boost Hollywood’s share of the board members to 53% from the current 46%, was postponed by a 52-50 vote in April and delayed at a board meeting two weeks ago.

Advocates of cutting the board have argued that having 107 members makes the panel unwieldy and needlessly costly, but opponents contend the proposal needs further study and is merely a pretext to closing smaller branches.

Thursday’s vote included guidelines that the governance team come up with a plan that provides proportional representation to all branches on the board and ensures that each of the 26 branches have direct participation on the panel, but Drake said those requirements will make it virtually impossible to cut the size of the board significantly.

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