Despite the pandemic, the earnings of SAG-AFTRA members hit a record high in 2021, even when adjusted for inflation, the union said after its national board meeting on Saturday. The union’s created new media, animation, audio recordings and audiobook contracts all set inflation-adjusted records.
“The recovery and growth in job creation and aggregate earnings demonstrates the effectiveness of our return to work protocols and the significant nature of our members’ contribution to the success of the media and entertainment industry,” said SAG-AFTRA’s National CEO. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “We are aware that many of our members have not seen their job opportunities fully return, and we continue to focus on getting everyone back to work.”
No decision was made during the board meeting on a potential disciplinary case against Will Smith for beating Chris Rock at the Oscars, although a source says there was a discussion about a change in the union’s disciplinary process, so if more members accuse anyone , only one of these charges would be brought against the member, eliminating the need for more cases on the same issue.
President Fran Drescher, who attended the virtual meeting from Washington, DC, where she attended the White House correspondent’s dinner, praised the union’s negotiating team for reaching an agreement on a new advertising contract, which is now awaiting ratification by members. She also updated the board on meetings she has held in Washington to advance legislation on a number of bills that are important to union members, including the American Music Fairness Act, the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, and the CROWN Act.
Drescher noted that the union celebrated the 10th anniversary of the merger of SAG and AFTRA on March 30, 2012, telling the board that “We are moving toward unity. I feel the energy and I am proud to be your leader. during this promising 10-year anniversary. We will set a new course and I only see positivity ahead. ” She also reaffirmed her commitment to working with people across the industry to implement more environmentally friendly practices.
In their financial report, Secretary-Treasurer Joely Fisher and CFO Arianna Ozzanto reported that SAG-AFTRA “is in a strong financial position”, with revenues and expenses following “better than planned through the third quarter of fiscal year 2022,” and reserves are “has grown significantly,” the union said in a statement.
Fisher reported that the union’s $ 10 million Payroll Protection Plan loan had been forgiven, and the union is experiencing an “unprecedented increase in new members, representing union confidence and new revenue,” the union said. She also announced the formation of the Real Estate Investment Subcommittee, which will explore potential opportunities for acquiring real estate in the Los Angeles area. This could lead to the union buying a new headquarters.
The board also approved the fiscal year 2023 budget, which includes “significant investment in new technology, business innovation projects and increased staff.” said the union.
AFTRA Retirement Fund CEO Christine Dubois reported that the AFTRA Retirement Fund – which is separate and apart from the SAG Pension Plan – is in the so-called green zone and “is expected to remain there and do well.”