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#SAGAFTRA MERGER MYTH #3: #SAG and #AFTRA haven’t done a constitutionally required study of the impact on their benefit plans.


MERGER FACT: This is absolutely false: there is no requirement that the unions conduct a study of  the impact of merger on the benefit plans. Nevertheless, the unions commissioned a Feasibility Report that demonstrates that merger of the unions will only benefit the plans and their participants.
Critics contend that there should be an actuarial study using non-public information held only by the plans. No such actuarial study can be conducted without management’s cooperation and management trustees have already made clear that they will not agree to conduct an actuarial study before the unions themselves are merged.

Those who claim there is a requirement to conduct a study point to language in the Phase I agreement between SAG and AFTRA. That agreement, however, is a dead letter. In 2008, it was suspended and deemed terminated. Even so, the language of the Phase I agreement does not require a study. It provides as follows:

The Committees agree to recommend that the consolidation of the respective pension plans be studied so that it may ascertained (a) what, if any, merger plan can be achieved which will satisfy the requirements of  law and the protection of all eligible members against loss of benefits, presently or in the future; and (b) the willingness of industry trustees to consolidate the plans.

All that this language requires is that the committees that negotiated the Phase I agreement back in 1981 “recommend” to the National Boards that “consolidation of the respective pension plans be studied.”  The National Boards in fact considered this recommendation and found that the Feasibility Report met  the objectives and that it would be futile to pursue an actuarial study in advance of merger of the unions.

SAGAFTRA MERGER MYTH #2: P&H benefits will be reduced because the comparable AFTRA benefits are less generous.

March 13, 2012 sagaftra No Comments

MERGER FACT: Each benefit plan has aspects that are better than the other. Benefits under the plans will not change as a result of the merger. Until a proposal to merge the plans that protects our benefits can be developed, members will continue to be able to qualify for benefits from the existing benefit plans through SAG and AFTRA-covered work, just as they did before the merger.

SAGAFTRA MERGER MYTH #1: The Merger Will Jeopardize my Pension.

March 13, 2012 sagaftra No Comments

MERGER FACT: Your accrued pension benefits are protected by federal law. Benefits can only be  reduced under certain conditions relating to plans in financial distress. Neither the AFTRA Plan nor the SAG plan is in that situation – both plans are in the “green zone.” As explained in the Feasibility Report, a merger of the plans would make it less likely that that your pension plan reaches the level of financial distress that places your accrued benefits in jeopardy:

Multiemployer plan mergers do not pose any increase in the risk of loss of benefits to plan participants  according to the government agency in charge of mergers. Indeed, the law requires that if pension plans are merged, the plans’ trustees have a legal obligation to ensure that no participant’s accrued benefits will be less after the merger than it was before.

Edoardo Ballerini is an actor and a writer. He has appeared in over forty films and television series, including Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and the indie hit Dinner Rush. He was last seen on Theater Row in New York in “Honey Brown Eyes.”You can reach Edoardo on Facebook or Twitter

Actors, What Kind of Success Do You Want?


In the span of two hours I was referred to as a “semi-celebrity,” and had a woman write me asking “Who are you?” (Why she bothered to write is entirely a mystery, but hey…) Still, it did illustrate the murky waters of notoriety actors can swim in. Somewhere circling amongst the “A-listers,” the “has beens,” and the “never should have beens” are the “aren’t you?… no, never minds.”

Between the Taping and the Viewing…


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The Mindset Change of Social Media


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Using #Pinterest as a tool for your #Film #Marketing


Speaking of Pinterest…I only recently started using it for the Joffrey project which is why all of my boards are devoted to that. Looking at them gives a good idea on the kind of thing you could use it for on your production. In my workshop presentations, I talk about posting regularly on your social channels and not just information directly about your film, but also about the interests of your audience; those who would be a fan of your film and of yourself as an artist. I am using the boards to show Joffrey history through pictures and videos. The ballets they created, the ballets they revived, their alumni dancers, Robert Joffrey through the years as well as photos of the merchandise available to buy through our site. It’s a balance of audience interest and promotion for the film.

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