SAG-AFTRA Annual Report Shows Exec Director Got 15 Percent Raise

David White

David White earned $541,040 in compensation in the 12 month period ended April 30, 2013.

SAG-AFTRA filed its required annual report with the federal government at the end of July. Among the key details in the 471 page document: national executive director David White received $541,040 in compensation in the 12 month period ended April 30, 2013, a 15 percent raise from the preceding 12 months, when he earned $470,505.

White’s responsibilities grew as well, since the prior period mostly covers his tenure at SAG and a time period where he shared duties with co-NED (and former AFTRA NED) Kim Roberts Hedgpeth.

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That latter period covered eleven months as NED of SAG, about two weeks as co-NED of SAG-AFTRA and about two weeks as sole NED of SAG-AFTRA after Hedgpeth’s resignation.

White’s salary is lower than that of DGA executive director Jay Roth ($717,728) or the WGA West’s David Young ($581,055). It’s higher than that of IATSE’s recently reelected Matt Loeb ($329,023) or WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson ($290,192). Those figures are from the most recent fiscal years, which vary by union.

Also noteworthy in the report is the increase in a line item representing sums owed to other people. This grew from about $111 million to about $132 million, a 19 percent increase. The union told The Hollywood Reporter that this was due to an increase in producer security deposits.

The line item also includes foreign royalty payments owed, but the union declined to provide a breakout. Allegations of improper conduct related to foreign royalties and residuals are the subject of a pending lawsuit by Ed Asner and others against SAG-AFTRA. The union has denied the allegations and moved to dismiss portions of the lawsuit.

In addition, the report shows that active union membership increased by about 2 percent, to 168,593. The number of members suspended – which is usually for non-payment – also increased by 2 percent, or 613 members, to a total of 32,445 suspended members.

The number of agency fee payers – often referred to as financial core members, although they technically are people who have withdrawn from the union but still pay dues – increased by about 2.5 percent, or 53 members, bringing that figure to 2,129. The number of members on honorable withdrawal also increased by about  2 percent, to 46,430. Four members’ status was “payment pending,” bringing the total union population to 249,601.

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