Curtain up on SAG's roadshow

Meetings to discuss contract offer set for both coasts, other locations

SAG said it will hold members-only informational meetings nationwide during the coming weeks about the TV/theatrical contract offer its membership will vote on soon.

Under a "Yes for Your Future" logo, interim national executive director David White and chief negotiator John McGuire reminded members in an e-mail that the national board of directors voted April 19 to approve the contract offer and send it on to the membership for a ratification vote with a positive recommendation from the board. The old contract expired in June.

Ballots for the new agreement will go out to paid-up members May 19 and must be returned by June 9.

The slight majority of the board that supports the offer's passage, including the Hollywood-based Unite for Strength party and most reps from the New York and regional branches, plans to hold meetings in Los Angeles, New York and regional locations to be determined.

The Los Angeles meeting will take place May 21 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, the same day ballots in the less controversial commercials contract vote must be returned. Similar informational meetings were held for members of SAG and AFTRA during that voting window.

The New York meeting for the TV/theatrical contract is June 1 at DGA headquarters. SAG task-force negotiators and board members will be on hand. Both meetings are closed to nonmembers.

"We know how important this contract is to all Screen Actors Guild members," White and McGuire said in the e-mail. "We urge you to stay informed by visiting often, attending the member informational meeting in your area and contacting us with questions and comments."

The MembershipFirst party, which holds a slight minority on the national board, is planning its own campaign to convince members the offer should be rejected. SAG president Alan Rosenberg and his allies believe the offer is unacceptable and that a rejection would pressure the companies to improve the deal.

Anti-ratification forces have held weekly protest rallies during the past two months and have their own event planned for Sunday in Los Angeles' Griffith Park. (partialdiff)