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ABOUT UNITE FOR STRENGTH

Unite for Strength is not a slate; we are a CALL TO ACTION.
THE values BELOW are the foundation of our PRINCIPLES
AS LEADERS and OUR MISSION AS UNION MEMBERS.

THEY drive THE COMMON GOAL OF makING SAG-AFTRA
the STRONGEST union for EVERY MEMBER.

OUR VALUES

INCLUSION

Our membership is diverse and so are the contracts you work. We believe leaders should reflect the people they represent. We also believe our union should cover the variety of ways you earn a living.

VISION

The only constant in life is change. In order to prepare for it, one must have the ability to know which direction it is going. This requires foresight, and leaders who continuously study shifts in this ever-changing industry, to better position your ability to earn a living; today and well into the future.

RESULTS

It’s all about the work. The work of finding solutions to the issues that concern you every day of your career. Talk is cheap, however, having something to show for it is priceless. We’re committed to not just telling you how we plan to improve working conditions, we pledge to show it to you; both in the contracts you work and the leadership we provide.

OUR PLATFORM

MORE MONEY

Long gone are the days of working for only three broadcast networks. In the age of streaming services the opportunities for employment has multiplied by the hundreds. Our industry isn’t as simple as it was “back in the day”. We consider that a good thing, because with your work now being seen by a global audience, the opportunities to earn more money has multiplied. Making sure that your checks reflect this new landscape is one of our top priorities in the boardroom.

SAFER SETS

No one, repeat, no one should feel unsafe on the job. From stunt safety to sexual harassment, we are committed to making sure your job is conducted in professional and respectful environment. This commitment also extends to the audition process. Your first priority is to do a good job as a performer; our first priority is to help you focus on your job; and nothing else.

A STABLE FUTURE

Times are tough. We’re also feeling the pain of a rapidly changing industry. Like you, our heads are spinning trying to stay ahead of the curve. However, we’re not letting that stop us from setting the best foundation possible for when the dust settles and ensure that your future is everything you’ve ever dreamed. We can't control how the industry changes, but we can control how we prepare for them.

A TRACK RECORD OF PROVEN RESULTS

  • Merged SAG and AFTRA into SAG-AFTRA.
  • Negotiated over 1 billion additional dollars in game-changing contracts; like the 2019 Commercials Contract, The Netflix Deal, and Video Game Contracts.
  • Confronted sexual harassment through legislative action and contract improvements. Resulting in the only industry-wide 24/7 hotline and the use of on set intimacy coordinators.
  • Strong pensions in the Green Zone.
  • The merger of the health plans has led to a record number of members achieving health care coverage
  • Won the BBH Strike!
  • Organized Telemundo; the first TV network to unionize in 65 years.
  • Helped secure and expand California Tax Incentives.
  • Achieved Dancer and Background coverage in Music Videos.
  • Achieved Performance Capture coverage in the Netflix Deal.
  • Total member earnings at an all-time high!

We're charting a course to ...

  • Continue strengthening our contracts and increase our residuals.
  • Improve contract enforcement and fight unfair exclusivity.
  • Bring even more commercial producers back to our contracts.
  • Continue protecting our pensions.
  • Advocate for stunt safety, better travel, and turnaround protections.
  • Fight to increase background pay and opportunities.
  • Organize new broadcast stations.
  • Champion diversity and inclusion.
  • Keep improving our low budget contracts and streamline the signatory process.
  • Push to restore performers ability to deduct commissions and safeguard against
    future unintentional tax increases.
  • Continue to keep SAG-AFTRA financially stable with surpluses that are building our reserve funds.

UFS LEADERSHIP TEAM

gabrielle carteriS

sag-aftra president

camryn manheiM

sag-aftra secretary-treasurer

clyde kusatsu

national vice president
los angeles

william charlton

National Vice president Actor|Performers

dan navarro

national vice president
recording artists|singers

National Board MEMBERS

Michelle Hurd

Jenny O'Hara

Ben Whitehair

Hal Eisner

Robert Pine

Jason George

Jasper Randall

Stacey Travis

I have been honored to serve on Local and National boards. Making a living acting under multiple contracts over the years has compelled me to serve our members. I will continue our fight for online privacy. As Chair of LA GAPP, we helped secure five more years of Tax incentives in CA to 2025 and lobbied DC for a bill to reclaim our tax deductions. Helped create SPA and will work to continue increasing our pay in Low Budget New Media & Films and improve our claims resolutions. Online Privacy (Chair), Government Affairs and Public Policy (Chair), Low Budget (Chair), SAGIndie, TV/Theatrical, Military Personnel and Families Support, National & Local Women’s committee.

Yvette Nicole Brown

I am running for the National Board because I believe in our union and the good it does for each of us. As a member for 23 years who has been blessed to work in nearly every area of the industry, I know that there is no industry issue too big for all of us to handle. Further, I know that we are better when we all realize that we’re in this together. I look forward to being a productive part of all the good we will do in the future.

Los Angeles Local Board MEMBERS

Rob Archer
Fletcher Sheridan
Charlene Carmon
Amir Talai
Lee Purcell
Woody Schultz
Katie Von Till
Ben Whitehair
Vivicca Whitsett
Natalia Castellanos
Tiffany Yvonne Cox
Ellen Crawford
Jenny O’Hara
Danielle Towne

Delegates

ALAN STARZINSKI
AMIR TALAI
AMY HILL
ANSON WILLIAMS
ARMAND VASQUEZ
AUBREY MOZINO
AUTUMN REESER
BARBARA ROBERTS
BEN WHITEHAIR
BREWSTER W PARSONS
BRUCE WEXLER
CATHERINE DENT
CAMRYN MANHEIM
CHANTAL COUSINEAU 
CLYDE KUSATSU 
CRYSTAL FLORES
DAVID VILLAR
DILEEP RAO
ELAINE LOH 
ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN
ELLEN CRAWFORD
GABRIELLE CARTERIS
GISELLE GILBERT
GRETCHEN PALMER
HOLLY PITRAGO
HOPE SHAPIRO
IQBAL THEBA
IVAR BROGGER
JACKIE JOSEPH
JAKE O'FLAHERTY
JASON GEORGE
JAY DISNEY
JEN FAITH BROWN
JEN LEVIN
JENNA DOOLITTLE
JENNY O'HARA 
JODIE BENTLEY
JOI CARR
JULES BRUFF
JULIE BROWN 
KATE LINDER
KATIE VON TILL 
KEVIN ASHWORTH
KYM JACKSON
LAURA LINDA BRADLEY
LAURI HENDLER
LEE GARLINGTON
LEE PURCELL 
MATTHEW JAEGER
MAUREEN SULLIVAN 
MELISSA COOK
MICHAEL CUDLITZ
MICHELLE C. BONILLA
MICHELLE HURD
NATALIA CASTELLANOS
NINA SIEMASZKO
PARVESH CHEENA 
PATRICK FABIAN
PATRIKA DARBO
PETER ONORATI
ROB BROWNSTEIN
ROB NAGLE
ROBERT PINE 
SEAN MICHAEL BOOZER
SHEA SCULLIN
SPENCER GARRETT 
STACEY TRAVIS 
STEPHEN R. PELUSO
TARA RADCLIFFE
TIFFANY YVONNE COX 
TIMOTHY BLAKE
TOM CHOI 
TONI TRUCKS
VIVICCA A WHITSETT 
YVETTE NICOLE BROWN
WOODY SCHULTZ 

Broadcasters
            ROB ARCHER               
     MIKE SAKELLaRIDES    
 JOY BENEDICT
HAL EISNER

Singers
FLETCHER SHERIDAN
SUZANNE WATERS
CHARLEAN CARMON
JASPER RANDALL
DAN NAVARRO

Dancer
DANIELLE TOWNE

Factually Answered Questions

Click the Questions Below for Answers

Are the pensions underfunded?

No, they are not.
Both are considered in the green zone with a long term plan to be fully funded.(source)

How do staff pensions work?

The truth about staff pensions. 

They have virtually no effect on our bottom line, yet they allow us to retain top talent. Risking the loss of our most valued staff could cost us tens of millions in poor decisions and contract negotiations. Want to reduce their accrual rates? Then get ready to pay them much higher salaries to match their for-profit sector counterparts, costing us substantially more.

FIRST, SOME HISTORY:
In the early 2000’s, when SAG-PPHP agreed to cover Screen Actors Guild staff, as the union was bleeding money as a result of rapidly expanding staff benefit costs. At the time, staff benefits were provided through private insurers at significant cost to the union’s general treasury. That means it was OUR dues money paying for it. So it was a tremendous benefit to members when SAG-PPHP agreed to include this small group of additional participants (literally 1% of pensioners and 2% of health plan participants), thereby reducing substantially the amount of member dues money that the union had to spend to pay for staff benefits. This freed up money for our union to focus on members. 

All of this happened under different (previous) union leadership but still, the changes to staff benefits had to be accepted by the then-current employees of SAG, including by the many internal unions that represent our staff across the country. There were commitments made to our employees about their benefits at that time and in the future. Accordingly, the pension benefit, including such things as the accrual rate for staff, cannot simply be yanked away. The union trustees surely understand the complexity of this issue and we should all understand the tremendous benefit to members to have great benefits for our staff at limited cost to the union and minimal costs to the Plans.

IMPORTANTLY, having good benefits for our employees has helped us stop Producers from poaching our best staff and has SAVED our union money. In the past 5 years, Netflix, CBS, NBC and others have lured our staff away – after we spent time and money to train them in the business – with higher salaries, big bonuses and company stock. This is not good for members and we don’t want to go back to being the training camp for future studio executives. Having an excellent benefits package for our staff – the people who negotiate and enforce your contracts, protect and distribute your residuals and look out for you in myriad other ways – helps us retain them in the face of competition from studios, advertisers, law firms and other companies. If the union reduces their benefits, then it will have to offset that loss with higher salaries – salaries that come directly out of your dues money. In other words, it will cost members more money.

KEEP IN MIND:
Staff are our representatives, negotiators and contract enforcers. They’re prohibited from competing for our jobs, they don't earn residuals or royalties, and they could make twice as much money working against us at a studio or network. It is absolutely paramount that we attract and retain the best possible staff to fight day in and day out on our behalf.

ACCRUAL RATES:
SAG took a big hit in 2008 by refusing to negotiate a new TV/Theatrical contract which lost SAG members over $100 million in pay raises and SAG Pension BENEFIT contributions. MF(the same people) were leading SAG. At that time both staff and members had the same accrual rate (3.5%).

The plans took an almost catastrophic hit due to a plunge in contributions from losing TV to AFTRA, in addition to the implosion of the financial markets. In order to keep the plans on stable footing, the Trustees elected to lower members’ accrual rate to 2% with the long-term goal of raising it back to 3.5%.

Can you tell me about the new Netflix deal?
What's the status of New Media residuals?

Contrary to statements about residuals disappearing, UFS is leading the way in improving our residuals structure in HBSVOD.

The truth is complicated, but it’s important to note that with the markets evolving (fewer network reruns, etc.) we are focused on improving residuals in the areas where we see dramatic growth; like HBSVOD, where a show may live for years. 

In 2017 we successfully improved the Episodic/TV streaming residual formula.

Can SAG-AFTRA control the pension and health plans?

In short, no.

The Pension and Health plans are entirely separate from SAG-AFTRA.

50% of the trustees on all three plans (SAG-AFTRA HEALTH, SAG Pension and AFTRA Retirement) are union appointed. Management (AMPTP, JPC) has the other 50%, which means agreements have to be made between both sides to make changes to the plans.

In other words, the union trustees and management trustees must negotiate changes to these plans: they are not unilaterally decided solely by the union’s trustees.

The national board appoints our union-side trustees through nomination and voting. The names of the trustees are on each of the different plan pages under the “about” tabs.

Being a trustee requires the member to accept personal financial responsibility for any malfeasance to these plans: it is not a responsibility to be taken lightly, which speaks volumes for the integrity that comprises our trustees.

We have past presidents, past secretary-treasurers, past officers, members-at-large and a couple of executive staff on our trustee side.

Trustees must also participate in continuing trustee education.

Should SAG-AFTRA buy or rent a building?

In order to purchase a building, we must first ensure that contract enforcement, contract negotiations, and building a solid reserve fund are in place.

When MF was leading SAG, they put the union in a deep financial hole. After the merger with AFTRA, we have been slowly and steadily repairing the union’s finances and building a reserve fund so that we are prepared in the event of a strike.

SAG-AFTRA has completed initial research and found that there are no buildings currently available that are big enough, affordable enough, and offer easy accessibility to the membership to house our headquarters.

SAG-AFTRA will continue to evaluate the feasibility of purchasing a building, but in the meantime our current lease is below the market rate and a responsible expenditure of our funds.

It is centrally located, close to the studios, and easily accessible to a substantial portion of the membership.


SAG-AFTRA is a nationwide union with 25 locals and offices throughout the country.

How is UFS leading on the issue of sexual harassment?
do you have an example of how you are encouraging member involvement in the union?

We always want members getting involved and taking an interest in what is going on at the union.

Our recent commercials contract is a success story, and a prime example of member involvement.

The union created the #adsgounion campaign, instituted painstaking step-by-step processes from monthly meetings, and actively engaged in member outreach to get members onboard and involved.

Result: a game-changing commercials contract which is already BRINGING ADVERTISERS BACK TO THE CONTRACT

what progress has been made in respect to low-budget
and member-produced content?

We have recently promulgated a new Low Budget, platform agnostic approach to low budget production. It includes substantial pay raises for members and wages indexed to our master contract. 

The SPA (Short Project Agreement) gives member producers more flexibility in shooting low budget projects without leaping through too many hoops.

The signatory process still needs improvement and remains something we are focused on to make it more responsive and communicative to both producers and members.

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