Boards Approve AFTRA-SAG Merger;
Members To Vote; Entry Gate Narrows
January 30, 2012
(VOXtra) - By wide margins and as expected, the boards of AFTRA and SAG - the nation's major performer's unions - have voted to merge.
The plan for the new SAG-AFTRA goes to full membership votes in February.
But what exactly IS the plan? Officially, details are under wraps. Among chief concerns for voice actors are:
But speculation is that the entry gate will narrow, according a recent report in The Hollywood Reporter:
AFTRA’s open door policy – which allows anyone to join the union online by paying the initiation fee – will end if SAG and AFTRA merge, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. In its place will be new SAG-AFTRA rules that primarily mirror SAG’s existing ones – a set of requirements that have made a meme out of "How do I get my SAG card?”
In addition, the price is changing: at $3,000, the new initiation fee is higher than SAG’s $2,277 or AFTRA’s $1,600, but less than the two combined.
THE BOARDS' VOTES
The AFTRA Board vote on Jan. 28 was 94% to 6% in favor of the merger. A day earlier, 87.1% of SAG's board said "I Do."
AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon said in a statement that approval of the "historic merger package" presents "the opportunity to finally stand united through one union to secure more union work and better benefits for our members, and for the generations of entertainment and media professionals who follow us."
SAG National President, actor Ken Howard, was jubilant, too.
"Professional performers are now an important step closer to the strongest union representation possible," he said.
"I believe our members will decisively approve this merger," he added, " and that SAG-AFTRA will be a leader in shaping the entertainment and media industries."
For more about each union, visit:
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