SAG-AFTRA to Furlough Staff and Reduce Work Hours

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The union on Thursday unveiled its $96 million budget, with $5 million from reserves, for fiscal year 2021.

SAG-AFTRA has unveiled its budget for fiscal year 2021 and is preparing staff members for potential furloughs and reduce work hours.

The union, which represents actors, journalists, radio and recording artists, voice actors and others, is planning on a $96 million budget, with $5 million from reserves, for operations between May 1, 2020, and April 3, 2021, it revealed on Thursday. According to the union, the budget accounts for "revenue preservation moves" including furloughs and reduced work hours.

According to the union, it will "remove redundant positions" and those working in capacities that no longer align with the organization's strategy. Staff members whose work has been eliminated due to coronavirus-induced production shutdowns will be furloughed, while others' hours will be cut. The organization is promising to help employees losing any work to access state and federal financial aid.

"Our duty to our members and our obligation as stewards of the organization is clear," SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement. "With this budget, thoughtful, responsible, and strategic decisions have been made that align operating expenses with our projected revenues in a time of extraordinary industry disruption. Now, as always, our top priority is the protection of our members."

Amid the COVID-19 shutdown of much of the entertainment industry, SAG-AFTRA has applauded the federal CARES Act but signed onto a letter penned by a guild coalition recognizing that their work to provide member relief isn't over. "We remain keenly aware that even successful efforts cannot end the steep financial challenges most of our members face during this time," the letter read.

The union also is currently in negotiations with the AMPTP before a June 30 contract extension.