AFTRA cuts national board

Decision will go into effect starting next July

Leaders of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have approved cutting the size of its national board from 116 to 73.

The move, approved Thursday at AFTRA’s national convention at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, amends the union’s constitution and will go into effect starting next July.

The convention’s also scheduled to vote as early as today on eliminating the constitution’s requirement that the national office be located in Manhattan, freeing AFTRA to relocate the headquarters to Los Angeles.

AFTRA’s leaders initiated the changes in July 2004 as part of a cost-cutting reorganization, a year after AFTRA and SAG were unable to complete a merger designed cut costs by eliminating duplicative operations. AFTRA members endorsed the merger plan but it was narrowly defeated by SAG voters.

The moves are designed to save $4 million annually. In 2003, AFTRA’s leaders instituted several measures designed to boost the annual revenues of $25 million, including assessing each member $50 per year for two years along with bumping up the base dues rate by 10% and the initiation fee by $100.

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