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SAG-AFTRA Merger Approved by Board of Directors! Member vote next! Stars respond!

If you watched the SAG Awards last night, SAG President and upcoming guest-star on The Young and the Restless, Ken Howard,  revealed that the two acting unions, SAG and AFTRA were very close to an approved merger, as both union boards have approved the merger.  Now, it goes to its members for the final vote.

Seems many stars are mostly in favor of the merger and some cautious, according to Deadline.com, “The view of the pending SAG-AFTRA merger on the red carpet before last night’s SAG Awards was mixed.  Supporters far outnumbered detractors but many were cautious in their enthusiasm and concerned about potential hidden traps in the deal’s fine print. About 10% of the attendees, including SAG president Ken Howard and Alec Baldwin, wore SAG-AFTRA One Union lapel pins. Leading the support was Meryl Streep, who replied, ”The merger? I’m in favor of it.” Added Kenneth Branagh: “I do think that the whole debate has been very passionate. My feeling has been, as a 20-year guild member and as a member of AFTRA, to observe that the people are trying to protect the rights of actors and those who work in our business. So that ultimately is the end here.  Democracy has to be at work here. People have to take their own view on it. And this has to be very rigorously scrutinized and it will be.”

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) tweeted last night after the announcement on the live SAG Awards telecast, “SAG didn’t want to join with AFTRA last negotiations because they thought soap actors (Aftra) were losers. Now they love us. Angry!”  
AFTRA released its own press release on the status of the approval and negotiations  saying, “The National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, recording artist and other performers who work across the spectrum of media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings and digital media – today voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend to the AFTRA membership a plan to merge with Screen Actors Guild.

The vote was 94%-6% in favor. The AFTRA National Board’s resolution will provide for the referendum material to be mailed to AFTRA members on or about Feb. 27, 2012, with a ballot return and tabulation deadline of March 30, 2012.

This time frame was created  to avoid interfering with the ratification period for AFTRA members to vote on the tentative agreement for the AFTRA Network Television Code (“Front of the Book”) – the union’s largest contract that covers programming in all television day parts (except for scripted primetime programs on the major networks and the CW, which are covered under the AFTRA Exhibit A contract) and programming produced for digital media.

The AFTRA National Board unanimously voted to recommend the terms of the 2011-2014 Network Television Code agreement to AFTRA members for ratification. Ballots on the Network Television Code will go out on Monday, Jan. 30 with a return date of Feb. 22.

The Merger package outlines the merger plan, dues and finance structure, membership requirements and other basic attributes of the successor union, including the proposed name for the new union, which is SAG-AFTRA.

“I applaud the AFTRA National Board for their overwhelming approval of this historic merger package. The partnership we formed on the G1 was one of collegiality and consensus that went into laying the foundation for a new union. This plan embodies the thoughtful work and valuable perspectives from large and small markets across the nation of many working actors, broadcast professionals, recording artists and other performers who all worked together in solidarity through the G1,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “I thank the G1 for their good work, and the National Boards for their approval and we will now present this plan to the members of AFTRA and SAG for their review and approval.

“We now have the opportunity to finally stand united through one union to secure more union work and better benefits for our members, and for the generations of entertainment and media professionals who follow us,” she added.

On Friday, the SAG National Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved the same merger package with a vote of 87.1% – 12.9%. With AFTRA’s vote, a referendum will be sent out for a vote by members of both unions.

In voting for the package, AFTRA National Board members passed a resolution that read, in part: 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Board, in accordance with its authority under AFTRA’s Constitution, approves the merger documents and the merger of AFTRA and SAG into SAG-AFTRA, a unified, powerful union committed to organizing all work in our jurisdictions, negotiating the best wages, working conditions and health and pension benefits, preserving and expanding our members’ work opportunities, vigorously enforcing our contracts and protecting our members against the unauthorized use of their work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Article XX of AFTRA’s Constitution is interpreted so as not to apply to a transaction, such as this merger, in which all of AFTRA’s rights, liabilities, contracts and collective bargaining agreements will be assumed, without impairment or interruption, by a successor union; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the National Board expresses its deepest gratitude to and commends the members of AFTRA’s New Union Committee and AFTRA’s staff for their herculean efforts and extraordinary work in completing the merger documents and concluding the merger negotiations.

The G1 began meeting in June of 2011 and held a total of five rounds of meetings to create the successor union merger package. The meetings followed an historic Listening Tour conducted by AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon and SAG National President Ken Howard. The G1 voted to approve the merger package on Jan. 16.

The Network Television Code contract generates more than $250 million a year in member earnings and covers a variety of media and entertainment professionals, including sportscasters, broadcasters, actors, singers and talk show hosts. Current programs covered by this contract include: “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Voice,” The Young and the Restless,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Nightline,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”

So just how will this impact soap operas and their stars?  Stay tuned!

 

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Marqui
Guest
Marqui

As I watched the SAG awards last night I wondered why there is not a category for Soap Actors.

Judy
Guest
Judy

I agree. Although they did include Mary Fickett (original Ruth Martin, AMC) and Doris Belack (Anna Craig, OLTL) in the Memorium segment.

Debi
Guest
Debi

I am very interested in how this will affect soaps. At least the ones that have no plans of cancelling.

Gloria
Guest
Gloria

Is it just me or is this not very interesting?

Brian
Guest
Brian

??? Does any of this mean “One Life To Live” is coming back? lol

gloria
Guest
gloria

We sure wish!

General Hospital

WATCH: Maurice Benard & Friends In ‘The Birthday Bash’ – The Movie

Now here’s a way to celebrate your birthday! Having lots of fun with your friends filming a project and making your directorial debut! That’s just what two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital) has done.

On his “State of Mind” You Tube Channel, Benard dropped the birthday video which includes many of his friends and family members.

Benard shared: “You’ve probably heard me say that this year I wanted to do something for the fans on my birthday. Well now the time has come to reveal my special project. It was fun to see a lot of my friends acting outside of the box and I want to thank each of them for being so willing to join me in this adventure no questions asked.”

Look for: Maurice Benard, Carlos Avila, Victoria Gotti, Ian Buchanan, Réal Andrews, Steve Burton, Majid Raees, Dominic Zamprogna, Kin Shriner, Joshua Benard, Paula Benard, Jeff Kober, Bryan Craig, Brooklyn Rae Silzer, Jim Warren and Buddy the Goat to all make appearances.

Watch Maurice Benard & Friends in “The Birthday Bash” below.  Then let us know what you thought of it via the comment section.

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General Hospital

Maurice Benard’s Birthday Kicks-Off With GH Co-Stars, Colleagues and Friends Delivering Special Messages

Ahead of his previously announced special birthday project dropping on You Tube today at 3pm EST 12noon PST, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) got a morning birthday surprise put together by his wife, Paula.

In the viral video now circulating on Instagram and social media, many of Benard’s longtime pals, colleagues, co-stars and friends, taped some virtual messages for the two-time Daytime Emmy winner honoring on his big day.

Included in the celebration are notables such as: Vanessa Marcil (Ex-Brenda), Steve Burton (Jason), Laura Wright (Carly), Kelly Monaco (Sam), Stephen A. Smith (Brick), Max Gail (ex-Mike), Vernee Watson (Stella), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia), GH EP, Frank Valentini and many more.

Check out below.  And make sure to watch live Maurice’s “Bad Boy Stories” video in a few hours via the link notated above.

Now, post your birthday wishes to Maurice via the comment section here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Maurice Benard (@mauricebenard)

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General Hospital

GH Double Wedding Promo: Who Will Tie the Knot? Maxie and Peter? Anna and Finn? Neither Couple?

This week’s it’s the highly-anticipated double wedding of Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and Peter (Wes Ramsey), and Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn (Michael Easton) on General Hospital, but already things look pretty dismal that any nuptials will take place, or will they?

We already know that Anna and Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) have figured out Peter is a very bad guy, Maxie is having second doubts of marrying the guy, someone enters the picture unexpected from the latest promo and the end of last Friday’s cliffhanger, Obrecht’s (Kathleen Gati) got some motherly news for Peter,  and Finn is on a mission to find out if he is the bio-son of Chase (Josh Swickard), and not his father Gregory (Gregory Harrison) and more!

On Monday, ABC released its promo for the nuptials, which does have guests seated at the wedding, but who will show up to say their “I do’s”?

 

In the latest issue of SOD on newsstands now, GH co head-writer, Chris Van Etten shared what fans should expect, revealing: “The double wedding is the crescendo and climax of years of stories, secrets and lies – and by the time it’s over, the lives of everybody involved will have been changed forever.”

Watch the teaser below.

Now, let us know: Do you think either couple, Maxie and Peter, or Anna and Finn ,will actually get hitched? How do you think the drama will go down on Port Charles? Weigh-in via the comment section.

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