Feedback on the Dues Increase: War Chest! What War Chest?

Although the Ol’ SAG Watchdog has not as yet taken a stance on the proposed dues increase, we do believe both sides of this issue should be aired out! And who better to do some incisive airing than Rick Barker. Here is his take on the increase.


Having only served on three SAG negotiating committees I am afraid that I need someone more knowledgeable to educate me concerning this supposed WAR CHEST that is so vital for us to have.

What I am having trouble with is understanding how in the world the amount of money (or lack of same) in SAGs bank account has any bearing whatsoever on our supposed CLOUT or BARGAINING POWER in the negotiation room????????? If SAG had a $50 million surplus in the bank how would that effect any negotiations with our employers unless we planned on buying off a bunch of them with bribes.

A normal labor union with a membership of full time workers accumulates a WAR CHEST so they can provide economic relief in the form of a weekly pay check of sorts to their members if they go on strike. This is NOT the case with a union such as SAG where the vast majority of members either dont work at all or work only part time during the year.

What is SAG planning on doing with this supposed WAR CHEST…and when do they think they will have it in the bank…before or after next years negotiation?

SAG’s semi-annual dues are based on the earnings and formulas of the previous year…NOT the current one. If SAG passes a dues increase this year (2004) the new rates will not go into effect until April of 2005 (about the same time negotiations will start) when each member will be required to pay 50% of their annual dues under the new formula. The other 50% wont be due until November 2005…or FIVE FULL MONTHS after the TV/TH contracts have expired.

-Rick Barker-

Coming soon a statement from CEO Bob Pisano on the dues increase—and Consolidation.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !