LOS ANGELES (April 24, 2008)
– The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—the national labor union of more than more 70,000 performers, journalists, broadcasters, recording artists, and other talent working in the entertainment and news media—will explore affected member voting as approved by the AFTRA National Board on March 29 in Los Angeles. AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon has appointed a special committee officially charged to study proposals for affected member voting for major AFTRA freelance performer contracts.
“As both a working actor and a union president, I am thrilled that the working performers who brought forward this issue are engaged and providing input to their union,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “The suggestions by these AFTRA members to apply affected member voting to other contracts, such as Primetime Dramatic/Exhibit A, were developed by performers in good faith at a grassroots level and deserve thoughtful, timely consideration and responses from the leadership of their union. Whatever the National Board's final decision on the matter, I welcome and encourage an honest and respectful discussion of this issue."
AFTRA has always applied affected member voting—the concept of having the members who work under a contract, vote on that contract—for its broadcasters’ contracts, and has also employed this approach to a few contracts covering freelance performers, such as the Interactive and Sound Recordings contracts. The proposals to be reviewed would expand this concept to other major freelance performer contracts.
The Special Committee has been charged to develop and submit a preliminary report and recommendations to the AFTRA Administrative Committee no later than May 23, the date of the Committee's next scheduled meeting. A final report is to be provided to the AFTRA National Board at its next meeting, scheduled for June 6-7 in Los Angeles, for the Board’s consideration at that time. The Special Committee has also been charged to consult with the leadership of a group of actors who recently initiated a petition calling for affected member voting for major television contracts. That petition now has more than 1,500 signatures.
The Special Committee will be chaired by actors Stephen Collins of Los Angeles and Ed Fry of New York.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, is a national labor union of over 70,000 actors, singers and recording artists, dancers, announcers and other broadcast talent performers, journalists, and other artists working in the entertainment and news media. With more than 30 locals and chapters across the country, AFTRA promotes the success and welfare of members in a variety of ways, including contract negotiation and enforcement, advocating on legislative and public policy issues, supporting equal employment opportunities, and sponsoring or supporting health and retirement benefits and programs. For more information, visit http://www.aftra.com