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SAG-AFTRA Board Extends David White’s Contract to 2020

Dave McNary

 SAG-AFTRA’s national board has given a two-year extension to David White as National Executive Director to 2020.

.The board voted unanimously on Saturday to extend White’s agreement to Oct. 11, 2020, effective immediately. Details of the agreement are confidential.

 SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon and Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin said in a joint statement, “Securing a long-term commitment from David guarantees his continued strategic operations leadership and industry-leading vision. He is a wise steward of SAG-AFTRA’s resources and a tough bargainer when he leads our contract negotiations. SAG-AFTRA members will continue to benefit from his commitment to ensuring good wages and safe working conditions. We are very fortunate to have him and look forward to continued achievement throughout the organization.”

The move comes two years and three days after the SAG-AFTRA board gave White a four-year contract extension to 2018. White is also the chief negotiator for the union, which reps about 160,000 performers.

The current SAG-AFTRA contract expires on June 30. SAG-AFTRA recently launched its wages and working conditions meetings with members to hammer out terms of its contract proposal to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but has not yet set a date for starting negotiations.

White said in a statement, “I want to thank President Carteris, our elected officers and national board of directors for their support. We are engaged in exciting, groundbreaking efforts to protect professionals worldwide who make a living in the entertainment and media industries, and I am thrilled to continue with this essential work. It is a privilege to lead a staff of such exceptional talent and I look forward to the next four years of being a member of their team.”

White was general counsel from 2002 to 2006 for SAG and replaced became national executive director in 2009 when the board fired Doug Allen from the post. White was opposed by the self-styled progressives of the Membership First faction of elected leaders, but that group saw its clout diminished in the subsequent years.

White campaigned actively for a merger of SAG with AFTRA along with SAG President Ken Howard, asserting that the combined union  would have more clout and operate more effectively. White became the national executive director of SAG-AFTRA in 2012 when the members voted to combine the unions.

In early 2014, White’s name emerged as a candidate for a similar post with the National Basketball Players Assn. However, the players union opted select Washington, D.C. attorney Michelle Roberts for the post, and the SAG-AFTRA board extended his deal later that year to 2018.

According to SAG-AFTRA’s most recent LM-2 filing with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, White received a base salary of $630,090 in the fiscal year ended April 30, along with $45,869 in official disbursements.

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