What to offer about this current SAG negotiation conundrum…
AFTRA is going to ratify, they're so far behind SAG in rates and benefits that a big increases still mean less than an actor can live on. I am a duel union member and after three years as a series regular on a AFTRA contract show (that's been rerunning twice a week for 4 years), I've received a total of $181.00 in residuals. An actor cannot live on jobs and contracts like this. They've upgraded that contract but even if they doubled it to a "100% increase!" who can survive on $362 in residuals over three years? Canada has this kind of arrangement, but their contracts are buyouts so they get paid more upfront and with free health care they don't carry the fear of not making minimums for health care coverage.
So again, what is one to think about the current state of things concerning SAG and AFTRA?
You must flood AFTRA and SAG with opinion emails. You must be heard.
This is it folks. 6 days left. The producers don't play nice and the leadership of both unions have left actors everywhere vulnerable to being sharecropped into oblivion. Yes, an AFTRA contract will protect some of us, but it certainly won't create a place for the working stiff actor to build a life. We'll be piece meal-ed and day played into having acting be our second job until the day we get a series and can make the restaurant our second job.
One could say this blog isn't helping, that this is evidence to the producers that SAG's ranks are fracturing. I'm in solidarity with my union. Both if them. I think speaking up is admitting I care. I'm going to send this to SAG and AFTRA. They've put us in a terrible place.
I'd like to think that after 20 years of giving what I think was my best effort to this business I'm entitled to launch an opinion about my future. It's always been their ball, their court and their game. I've known that since I showed up. Agents get to decide who they'll represent and who they'll submit. Casting gets to decide who they'll bring in. Producers get to decide who gets the job. With all those hurdles, why would my union, either of them, ever put me in a position to have to decide which union I'll favor? Why would they ever make an actor try to get in with the faction of their OWN UNIONS who will be the victor in this game called eligibility?
It stinks. It stinks. It stinks.
Corporate America wins again. We are not a corporation but the mentality is surely there. Most of us will have to suffer for the egos of a few of us.
Email SAG and AFTRA now. Whatever your opinion, email and be sure you say something about how this is shaping up.