Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nevada President's Report, May 2010

President's Letter

By Steve Dressler

Nevada Branch President

I open this report with a saddened heart. Council member John Powers passed away April 16, 2010. John was elected to the council September 25, 2008. His enthusiasm to serve was always at the forefront. As an actor and a teacher he contributed much to this community. He will not be forgotten. We will miss you, John. Rest in peace.

The newly remodeled Tropicana Hotel was the venue for our March 21  membership meeting. The elegance was apropos for our special guest, SAG President Ken Howard.

Prior to the meeting, a “Conversations” with Ken Howard, moderated by actor and UNLV Professor Michael Tylo, turned out to be an enjoyable, relaxed colloquy, with members’ participation.

The Nevada Branch Council with President Ken Howard

At the meeting, President Howard spoke about the importance of our relationship with AFTRA, and the necessity of unity regarding the upcoming TV/Theatrical  negotiations. There is strength in unity, which should bring a positive resolution. Hopefully a strong working partnership with AFTRA in negotiations will eventually bring about discussion for a possible merger.

President Ken Howard and Michael Tylo

I believe having all actors under one umbrella would make a stronger union. President Howard seems to be on the right track. As it is now, management likes a divided house; it gives them the advantage to pick and choose. This was prevalent regarding the outcome of pilots this season, where management chose to go with AFTRA.

The National W&W will be gathering input for the upcoming negotiations. I will call a local W&W Committee meeting sometime in June or July. All input must be in to National in early August. If you would like to be on the committee, please e-mail me at nevadapresident@sag.org.
Please do not work non-union productions. As I mentioned at the meeting, when you work non-union, it’s like cheating on your spouse, which will eventually lead to separation or divorce. Not a happy ending.

Recently, our new local Commercials Contract was passed by the National Board. Now, hopefully local non-union productions will sign with SAG and give our members some work. Executive Director Steve Clinton will need help in this area. Members with connections to local advertising or production companies, please express to them the value of having professional union actors by becoming signatory. The local rates are lower than the national rates, which should give them an incentive. Let’s go to work.

You will be receiving a ballot regarding two amendment changes to our Rules of Procedure in a few months. These changes will give flexibility of membership meeting dates and a savings cost to the Branch regarding amendment changes. A yes vote would be appreciated.

Please continue to attend the Nevada SAG Conservatory. Exercising your gift will only make you better.

Check the Nevada SAG Hotline for conservatory and event updates, or contact Steve Clinton at (702) 737-8818.

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