The Screen Actors Guild is setting up a special projects department whose foremost goal will be to involve guild members in seeking improvements to contracts with producers.
The department, to be overseen by associate national exec director John McGuire and run by Rob Black, aims to create a national education and information campaign about issues related to contracts. An advisory committee comprised of performers with experience working under the guild’s various employment agreements will assist.
“This new department will centralize our efforts to reach out directly to our members, to understand their concerns and to translate those expectations into positive contract gains,” McGuire said.
The unit will also seek to expand job opportunities for SAG members by lobbying for tax incentives that would “assist producers in producing in the United States rather than going outside the United States,” McGuire said.
As head of the department, Black brings with him some useful credentials. From 1993 to ’96, he worked for the National Democratic Institute coordinating democracy-building projects and grassroots organizing in Asia and Africa. Last year, he organized the Carter Center’s deployment of a team of observers to the presidential elections in Liberia.
More recently, Black helped manage SAG’s effort to bring all Saban Entertainment productions into compliance with guild agreements.