SAG/AFTRA Merger Committee Shifts Into High(er) Gear; Sets Unprecedented Marathon Meeting to Work on Plan

6:09 PM PST 12/12/2011 by Jonathan Handel

The Group for One Union on Monday announced an eight- or nine-day meeting for early January to flesh out a plan to merge the two unions.

They’ve been working plenty hard, but now they’re amping up to another level. “They” would be the SAG/AFTRA merger committee, and in a few weeks they’ll holding what must be an unprecedented eight- or nine-day meeting, AFTRA and SAG said Monday.

The unions’ statement comes in the wake of a less formal, two day “check-in” meeting that concluded Monday, in which the committee – called the SAG/AFTRA Group for One Union, or G1 – reviewed progress to date on developing a plan to merge the two unions.

Presumably, not many G1 members – or senior SAG and AFTRA staff – will be taking relaxing vacations this holiday season. That’s because the timing is tight: not only is the formal meeting less than a month away – Jan. 8-15 – but just two weeks after that, the two unions’ boards will be convening to vote on the plan.

Those board meetings – SAG’s is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 27, and AFTRA’s is the next day – will come just before the Jan. 29 SAG Awards. Guild president Ken Howard has previously said he wants to use the high-profile televised ceremony to kick off the ratification phase of the process.

Assuming the two boards approve the plan – which seems virtually certain – merger ballots would go out to members around mid-February, with a return date likely to be three weeks later.

Ratification requires a 60% affirmative vote of the members of each union who return ballots. In the last merger attempt, AFTRA achieved that threshold, but SAG fell short by less than 1.5%.

G1 essentially consists of a SAG task force and an AFTRA committee. The unions recently released a list the two panels’ members.

Members and alternates of the SAG Merger Task Force are SAG president Ken Howard (national chair), Adam Arkin, Amy Aquino, Suzanne Burkhead, William Charlton, Assaf Cohen, Rebecca Damon, Maureen Donnelly, Nancy Duerr, Abby Dylan, Ilyssa Fradin, Sam Freed, Leigh French, Jason George, Nancy Giles, David Hartley-Margolin, Sumi Haru, Mike Hodge, Anne-Marie Johnson, Clyde Kusatsu, Allen Lulu, Richard Masur, Bill Mootos, Kirk Penberthy, Mandy Steckelberg, Marcia Strassman, Ned Vaughn, Marcia Wallace and Liz Zazzi.

Members and alternates of the AFTRA New Union Committee are AFTRA president Roberta Reardon (national chair), Polly Adams, Corey Anker, Bob Bailey, Susan Boyd Joyce, Catherine Brown, Bob Butler, Gabrielle Carteris, Lainie Cooke, Denise Dal Vera, Dee Dawson, Denny Delk, Craig Dellimore, Bob Edwards, Jim Ferguson, Sharon Ferguson, Anne Gartlan, Maria Leticia Gomez, Holter Graham, Jon Joyce, Tom Kemp, Jim Kerr, Matt Kimbrough, Joe Krebs, Dan Navarro, Robert Pine, Shelby Scott and Jack Speer.

Email: jhandel@att.net
Twitter: @jhandel

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