National board will meet in Los Angeles on May 19 - 20

In its first official meeting since performers created SAG-AFTRA, the new national board will meet in Los Angeles on May 19 – 20.

The agenda for the 110-member panel has not yet been set. The board — populated by members of the former national boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists — will meet on a quarterly basis.

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA moved last week to establish the union’s initial 24-member executive committee, which will meet this weekend in New York. Under the merger agreement the SAG-AFTRA executive committee is chaired by co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon.

The merged union has about 160,000 members. The current leaders of SAG-AFTRA will be up for election in summer 2013.

Merger backers touted the combined SAG-AFTRA as having more power than the individual unions and asserted that combining the unions is a first step toward combining the separate SAG and AFTRA health and retirement plans. Of SAG members voting, 82% backed the merger while 86% of AFTRA members casting ballots endorsed the combo.

The key SAG-AFTRA master contracts expire in March 2013 for commercials, with talks expected to start in October, and in June 2014 for primetime and features.

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