The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Thursday announced layoffs and other changes due to financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the film and television industry’s shutdown.
The union representing actors and other entertainment and media professionals is laying off and giving early retirement to about 45 employees, reducing its number of employees to about 400, according to Pamela Greenwalt, SAG-AFTRA’s chief communications and marketing officer.
The union has laid off 171 employees during three rounds of layoffs over the course of the pandemic and production shutdown in March, Greenwalt said.
“Adjusting our staff size is difficult and painful, but unavoidable,” SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David P. White said in a statement.
“We will continue to maximize all of our resources and deliver on our core functions while maintaining excellent service to members and move toward a leaner and more efficient operation.”
The union’s national board also approved a recommendation by the Finance Committee and Executive Committee to modify and extend the current dues relief program for the November semi-annual dues period, Greenwalt said.
The program allows SAG-AFTRA members who are in financial distress to request an extension of the payment’s due date and receive an installment plan for those payments. Members can apply online or by checking a box on their dues bill, Greenwalt said.
Installments will be due Jan. 4 and April 2.
Those seeking the extension should request it no later than Dec. 10, according to Greenwalt.
Members who are able to pay their dues now are encouraged to do so, but all members, even those who do not submit a request, will have late fees waived for this dues period, according to Greenwalt. Late fees are expected to resume in May 2021.
“We must act wisely and prudently to ensure a strong union while remaining a fierce and steadfast advocate for our members who also are facing COVID-19 related challenges, said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
“Our work over the last decade resulted in responsible fiscal management and consistent budget surpluses. Because of those surpluses, and with additional expense management, we are positioned to withstand the pandemic and serve our members for generations to come.”
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