The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' national board approved a merger proposal with the Screen Actors Guild on Saturday.
The proposal passed with 94% of the panel voting for approval, which followed approval by SAG's national board on Friday night.
The approval by both national boards will be followed by a referendum on the merger measure to be approved by the full membership of each guild. The referendum for AFTRA wil be mailed to AFTRA members on or about February 27, 2012, with a ballot return and tabulation deadline of March 30, 2012.
I applaud the AFTRA National Board for their overwhelming approval of this historic merger package, said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. 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.
Last year, AFTRA's New Union Committee and SAG's Merger Task Force formed a joint committee called the G1, or Group for One Union. That committee broke into study groups, which examined governance and structure, finance and dues, collective bargaining, pension, health and retirement, operations and staff and member education and outreach.
The G1 spent nine days this month working on its recommendations for a merger.
The Screen Actors Guild vote on Friday was approved 87.1% to 12.9%.
Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard released the following statement regarding the AFTRA National Board vote on the proposed merger with Screen Actors Guild:
This is a terrific outcome and I offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to AFTRA's National Board and National President Roberta Reardon. Professional performers are now an important step closer to the strongest union representation possible. Just as our boards have, I believe our members will decisively approve this merger and that SAG-AFTRA will be a leader in shaping the entertainment and media industries.