Two SAG leaders plan health plan referendum

Measure deals with pension, health plan

HOLLYWOOD — Two Screen Actors Guild leaders, citing tightened health plan eligibility requirements, plan to launch a referendum drive in order to directly elect SAG trustees to the pension and health plan.

If approved by members, the referendum would also remove the 18 current P&H reps appointed by SAG’s national board. Once the petition is cleared by staff, organizers will have six months to gather about 11,000 signatures — or 10% of members — to bring the proposal to a direct vote.

Trustees of the health plan, faced with fast-rising medical costs, decided two months ago to significantly tighten eligibility for the first time since 1996 (Daily Variety, July 31). The plan is jointly administered by SAG and reps of the entertainment industry.

Notification of intent

New York branch prexy Lisa Scarola, 2nd New York VP Charles Gemmill and member Yaffa Amato-Sharir notified SAG CEO Robert Pisano of their intent to stage a referendum drive due to the “general alarm” that the trustees’ moves have caused.

“We are deeply concerned about their determination to exclude members from receiving health insurance,” they wrote. “Their reasoning is flawed and based on deep-rooted discrimination against struggling actors.”

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