SAG-AFTRA unveils exec committee

Howard, Reardon each name 12 to new panel

In the first official action since the March 30 merger, SAG-AFTRA has established its initial 24-member executive committee.

The panel, announced Wednesday night, is composed of a dozen national officers plus 12 additional members — six each appointed by co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon.

The other office members are Ned Vaughn, executive VP; Amy Aquino and Matthew Kimbrough, co-secretary-treasurers; Gabrielle Carteris, Los Angeles VP; Mike Hodge, New York VP; Craig Dellimore, mid-sized locals VP; David Hartley-Margolin, small locals VP; Michael O’Keefe, actor-performer VP; Catherine Brown, broadcaster VP; and Jim Ferguson, recording artist VP.

The appointed members are David Browde, Assaf Cohen, Rebecca Damon, Denise Dal Vera, Abby Dylan, Anne Gartlan, Holter Graham, Jon Joyce, Joseph Krebs Jr., Clyde Kusatsu, Richard Masur and Bill Mootos. Alternates are Adam Arkin, Bobbie Bates, Dee Dawson, Maureen Donnelly, Sharon Ferguson, Sam Freed, Ed Fry, Maria Leticia Gomez, Arye Gross, Todd Hissong, Susan Boyd Joyce and Jenny O’Hara.

Under the merger agreement the SAG-AFTRA executive committee is chaired by Howard and Reardon and will report its activities to the 110-member national board on a quarterly basis. The merged union has about 160,000 members.

Though the anti-merger side has about 10 seats on the new board, none of those members were tapped for the exec panel. The merger was approved by 82% of the SAG members who voted and 86% of the AFTRA members who cast ballots.

Several anti-merger board members, including Martin Sheen, Ed Harris and Anne-Marie Johnson, filed a federal lawsuit to block the counting of the votes, alleging that SAG had not followed its own rules in seeking the merger vote. But the judge in the case refused to issue a restraining order.

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.

SAG-AFTRA hasn’t yet set the meeting of the new national board created by combining the SAG and AFTRA national boards. The current leaders of SAG-AFTRA will be up for election in summer 2013.

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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