Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nevada SAG-AFTRA moving forward (with your help and support)

Your union is a union, not a club, conservatory or social networking group.
These services are local benefits help to give value to the union, educate the membership, attract future unionist and help us maintain a social connection so we can work together when our talents are needed the most.  Local strength and solidarity require hard work by dedicated committees, all of whom deserve your strong heart-felt thanks.
We should be particurally proud of the Nevada Conservatory, its volunteers and its programs. Begun by Joseph Bernard, Diane Thorne, Lollo Sievert and others, I was its second chair. Hats off to current chair Barbara Grant, the committee and volunteers..
And that’s just one example. We have always been a very active local branch. If you see a need at the local level, contact our local president and share how you will help to meet that need for our membership. There can never be too much local involvement and local activism.
But these are not the primary role of a union.
Unions exist to protect and advance the rights of those who work within the areas of union jurisdiction. Contracts, working conditions, organizing and the over all well being of our membership are at the heart of the union mission.
Our union requires dedication from all members to the battle ahead for all unions coast to coast, and to our new “super-union” SAG-AFTRA. We are under attack by forces with deep pockets and a solid union-busting agenda. Only with solidarity, your time and resources and pulling together into one strong team can we hope to succeed on behalf of everyone who wants to feel safe at their workplace and be paid on time and well for their talents and time.
Staffing, offices and financial support are continuing areas being debated, discussed and lobbied at the national level. The newly formed Committee of Locals (replaces the Regional Branch Division of SAG) is gaining our foothold in pushing in favor of small locals and the specific needs of our membership.

Be assured we have a very dedicated board of officers and members looking after the business of the union in Nevada.
The business of the union will take time, building a case, and strong continued dedication. Your support of local activities is key to our growing a strong local with a strong case for continued or increased support from our brothers and sisters nationally.
With your support, we are in a strong position to represent, defend and move forward in a very hostile environment for labor and those who work contract-to-contract, day-to-day in our industries.

Loose lips do sink ships. In the past work behind the scenes earned Nevada expansion of zones, an office, a local executive, improved communication with membership and a greater focus on organizing and growing at a local level occurred in small private meetings, confidential committee discussions and the well played chess of labor negotiations.
Most areas I am involved in on your behalf are behind closed door, under legally imposed rules of confidentiality and a veil of secrecy. I do not like it any more than you do, but with the birth of a brand new union, major contract negotiations with powerful employers, strategic planning well into our future, and a press eager to report all they can regardless of its impact on our membership give all of us representing you on the board no real choice.
I am under a strict rule of confidentiality as a board member. These e-mail newsletters are vetted at the national level and changes, or “edits” do occur.
An informed, active National Board keeps on top of the issues, concerns and contracts that effect all of us, as well as involved with the direction and growth of our union on a national and internal level.
I have my own way of passing on what I can, through personal conversations and passing on what is reported in the press on my own site:
Feel free to contact me through the SAG-AFTRA office.
Your union is in the heated center of its first major contract negotiations as one union, the largest in Hollywood. Then too are the tasks of forming, adjusting and setting the foundation for our future. Budgets, structure, logistics and staffing are still a work in progress, with a great deal already behind us (the union lost good staff members in merging two organizations, but also gained the strength of consolidation and ranks of dedicated unionist working for you as paid staff).
We have emerged as the Nevada Local of a major strong union.
We represent actors, artists, creative and working members in the entertainment and information industries. We have a broad tent that cast a wide net in favor of earning good wages, safe working conditions and the solidarity of union brothers and sisters across all aspects of the industry.
I have, along with all national board directors, been busy with major decisions, important committee work, long teleconferences, meetings and staying on top of this rapidly changing industry.

I thank all of you who made calls, were active in local committees, let me know your feelings on contracts and on the direction of our new union, held the thankless job of being on the first Local Board of Directors of the Nevada Local, or simply spoke the union eligible and pre-union talent about the need to join our ranks and proudly be union in a right-to-work state.
Without qualified professionals joining shoulder-to-shoulder we cannot organize local work, strengthen out position nationally and grow the support we gain from having a Nevada local and a strong local executive. We need their membership, their income “numbers” and their full support. Talk up your union!
You can make a difference. Members and those who ally with us, are working to create the competitive even playing field that are film incentives, to encourage local work and local contracts, to attract union work to our state and make sure we maintain our membership while increasing earnings.

It is my hope that members continue to step forward and volunteer for committee work, for special projects, to run for office, and do all they can to turn potential work union in Nevada. We are the union.

It is also my hope that the type of backdoor politics end and that we move forward as a branch proudly into a new union as SAG-AFTRA and continue to put membership first.

I feel that you have a strong local, working on many projects for our membership. We have a strong executive in Steve Clinton, and strong support from many key players in the community, locally, and through my continuing efforts for you, on a national level.
On another note, I recently have worked several projects under ultra low and student contracts. With “current film,” “demo reels” and other tools becoming essential to work in the field I encourage all members to learn how to make it easy for producers to use union talent, to become your own signatory and build your own “resume” of video and audio credits. We have the talent and we have the numbers, if we step to the plate and swing at the opportunities out there for us.
Nevada is powerhouse of qualified union talent. Let’s find ways to put it to use!


Art Lynch
Unofficial National Board Report
March 28, 2013
Note DATED Material... 

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