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UNIONS


What are unions and why do we have them?

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Brief history leading up to the creation of unions z z z

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By the end of the eighteenth century, touring companies, managed by actors, defined the way a touring company operated. After the Civil War, independent theater owners formed associations which dictated the touring company routes. In 1896 the Theatrical Syndicate organized a set of rules that organizes shows, production and financing for shows, and eliminate competition. By the 1900’s the Syndicate dictated which plays would participate in which theaters and the specific performers for the plays. Actor managers then came into play. They perceived actors as being an additional cost of play productions. Their goal was to hire actors are cheaply as possible.

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Brief history leading up to the creation of unions Cont. z z z z z

Actors could be fired on the spot. Productions could be cancelled without any notice or pay. Managers would leave town during a performance with the actor’s pay. No transportation pay. Dressing areas were filthy with no A/C or heat. “We d to th o not re n eatr icals t !"

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A union was then created! Equity z z

May 1913, 112 actors meet in a hotel ballroom and formed the Actor’s Equity Association. A standard contract was created to cover seven keep concerns: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Free Transportation to and from New York A time limit on rehearsals A two week’s notice Payment to an actor who has been dismissed but had rehearsed for more than one week Additional performers must also receive pay Payment for all weeks performed Modification in the situation of women’s costumes

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“Nations Arbitrate, Though Managers Won’t”

The negotiation between Equity and managers went on for 6 years. z In the summer of 1919, over two thousand actors went on strike. z On September 6th 1919, the thirty day strike ended. The managers and Equity signed their first agreement. z

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How Unions Operate SAG, AFTRA, and Equity are governed by their members. z These unions protect actors in their business relationships by z

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Negotiating contracts Monitoring of contracts Guaranteed minimum salaries Time frame for payment to be received Working conditions z z z z z z

Rehearsal lengths Meal periods Location of rehearsals Time between calls Transportation Performance safety

A union representative “field rep” is on set supervising. Institute for the Performing Arts and Entertainment Industry

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EQUITY Also know as AEA z Equity represents: z Theatre z “Live� Industrial Productions z Stage Managers z Directors and Choreographers, Depending on the contract z

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Equity Membership How to Join: z Prior membership in a performing arts sister union for at least one year z Equity Membership Candidacy Program z

Non-professional actors can credit 50 weeks of work to their union membership by participating in Equity theaters

Fees z

Initiation fee of $1,100

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Basic Dues = $118 per year, billed at $59 semi-annually

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Working Dues is 2.25% Institute for the Performing Arts and Entertainment Industry

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Screen Actors Guild z z

In 1933 a group of film actors meet to create a union that protected film artists. Their seven requests 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Eight Hour Work day; 15 hour break between set calls Regular one-hour meals Sundays and holidays off Overtime pay Transportation pay Contracts in writing and a copy given to the actor Continuous employment pay

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Who does SAG represent? z z z z z

Principal performers appearing in feature motion pictures Any filmed productions Extras in motion pictures Non-broadcast films and commercials in certain areas The following is also shared with AFTRA: Television programs z Television commercials z Industrials and educations programs z

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SAG Membership z

In order to join SAG, you must meet one of the following: 1. 2.

Have been a previous member of AFTRA or Equity for at least one year Have worked as a principal in one of the three unions for one day ‰

3.

Have worked a total of three days of background work known as the “three voucher rule.” ‰

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This makes you “SAG Eligible” allowing you to work for 30 days in a union or non-union production before you are required to sign with SAG

SAG productions are required to hire a certain number of SAG background performers. Television productions -19, Feature Films-50. When hired under a SAG production, you will receive the same rights as a union performer.

If you have been chosen to play a principal role in a union production, you will be classified as a Taft-Hartley and must present a letter from the signatory producer which states why you have been chosen to participate as a principal character. Institute for the Performing Arts and Entertainment Industry

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SAG’s Fees and Dues The one-time initiation fee for joining SAG in $2,277.00 + $58 (the first minimum semi-annual membership dues payment). z Each SAG member pays annual base dues of $116.00. z Membership dues are calculated semi-annually and are based upons the member’s earnings. z

z 1.85% $1 and $200,000

0.5% $200,001 through $500,000 z 0.25% $500,001 to a maximum of $1,000,000 z

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SAG’s Global Rule One z

Once you become a SAG member, you may not perform in any non-union productions in the same area that SAG has jurisdiction.

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Rates for SAG Productions z

Short films z

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Less than $50,000

Deferred salaries. Minimum pay is $100/day.

Ultra Low Budget

Less than $200,000 $100/day

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Modified Low Budget z z

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$268 $933

Low Budget z z

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Day Performer Weekly Performer

Less than $625,000

Day Performer Weekly Performer

Less than $2,500,000 $504 $1752

Basic Codified z z

Day Performer Weekly Performer

$759 $2634

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Residuals z z z

Amounts paid each calendar quarter to principal performers when the film is distributed. Residuals are based on the percentage of the DGR (Distributor’s Gross Receipts). The total percentage is then divided up amongst the performers based on the time they worked on the film and their salary.

MEDIA FREE TELEVISION BASIC CABLE PAY CABLE VIDEO TAPES/ DVDS

PERCENTAGE OF DGR 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 4.5% FOR THE 1ST MILLION, 5.4% AFTER

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AFTRA z

AFTRA was created by the merging of AFTR (American Federation of Radio Artists) and TvA (Television Authority) in 1952.

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AFTRA represents: z z z z z

Live Television Radio Programs Radio Commercials Musical Recordings New Technologies like interactive programming and CD ROMS

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AFTRA Membership A one-time initiation fee of $1,300 z Basic dues = $63.90 z Working dues z 0.743% $0 - $100,000 z

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0.137%

$100,000 to $250,000

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Unions