SAG board reaffirms merger commitment

Newest consolidation resolution passed with 84.4%

In separate resolutions, the Screen Actors Guild national board of directors on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to merging with AFTRA and then set about seeking ways to overcome the objections that scuttled just such a merger.

The first of two resolutions reaffirmed SAG’s commitment to consolidating with AFTRA; the second, its intent to explore whether such an affiliation would improve or at least maintain the security of pensions and health benefits for both unions.

The newest SAG consolidation resolution passed with 84.4% in favor, 15.7% opposed. The pension resolution passed unanimously.

Earlier this month, by a slender 1,280 votes, SAG’s members rejected a proposed combination with AFTRA, but SAG chief exec Bob Pisano has said he believes that since 58% of the members casting ballots approved the Consolidation and Affiliation Plan presented to the membership, some fine-tuning of the proposal may still result in its passage.

The SAG board unanimously agreed to seek consolidation with AFTRA last Feb. 8. Under the new resolution, the SAG AFTRA Relations Task Force will seek comment from members on possible modifications to the merger plan and will meet with the AFTRA Strategic Alliance Committee to consider their concerns and make recommendations to the board.

Exploring whether a merger of SAG’s and AFTRA’s individual pension and health plans would yield better care or more secure pensions will now be explored jointly by the two unions. The resolution called for the administrators of the SAG plans and the AFTRA funds to develop recommendations regarding alternative approaches immediately, with a progress report to be delivered to the SAG national board no later than its plenary meeting on Oct. 18.

A previous attempt at a merger between the two unions was voted down resoundingly in 1999, with 19,419 yes votes and 21,745 no votes.

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