SAG-AFTRA Convention to Have Full Agenda of Amendments (Exclusive)

12:09 PM PST 09/06/2013 by Jonathan Handel

Several of the amendments reflect divisions between the regional locals and the Los Angeles and New York locals, between legacy SAG and legacy AFTRA board members, or between anti-merger and pro-merger forces.

With SAG-AFTRA’s inaugural convention just a few weeks away, The Hollywood Reporter has learned the details of the amendments that the 500 or so delegates will be asked to vote on. Several of the proposals reflect various divisions within the union.

The seven items on the agenda are:

* Local bank accounts. Seventeen locals have proposed that individual locals be permitted to set up their own bank accounts. That would mark a return to an AFTRA practice that several legacy SAG sources criticized as fostering disorganization and lack of financial controls. The Los Angeles and New York locals did not sign on to the proposal, reducing the likelihood that it will pass.

* Board Amendments to Constitution. The SAG-AFTRA board has proposed an amendment that could give itself the ability to amend the organization’s constitution, rather than have to wait for the union’s convention to act. The amendment would have that effect only if the convention decides to delegate its authority to the board. Those conventions only take place in alternate years, meaning that without the amendment, the board has to wait up to two years before changes can be made. It’s possible that this amendment will be opposed by former opponents of the SAG-AFTRA merger, at least some of whom continue to be skeptical that the union leadership have members’ best interests at heart.

* Residuals fee clarification. The SAG-AFTRA constitution currently allows the union to collect fees for residuals processing. The organization does not actually collect any such fees at present. SAG-AFTRA leaders have said the union has no intention to collect such fees with respect to residuals processed for dues-paying members or fi-core agency fee payers (as contrasted with residuals processed on behalf of non-members or members’ heirs). Nonetheless, merger opponents have expressed concern about this existing provision. The amendment, submitted by the union’s board, would assuage that concern by eliminating the possibility of such fees for dues-paying members or fi-core agency fee payers.

* Vacancies. Several locals have made two proposals regarding filling vacancies in national offices and in the union’s executive committee.

* Errata. The union’s board has proposed two amendments that would correct errors in section cross-references in the union constitution.

The convention takes place Sept. 26-29. Other items on the agenda include electing an executive vp – the office vacated by Ned Vaughn last month when he announced his decision to run for state assembly – and seven other vps.

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