Fran Drescher Says George Clooney, Et. Al Proposal To Lift SAG-AFTRA Dues Cap Wouldn’t Be Legal

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Thanks, George. But your proposal to take the cap off union dues in order to end SAG-AFTRA‘s strike isn’t legally compatible with the union’s contract.

So said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in a video posted to Instagram in response to George Clooney and other A-List actors‘offer to pay more into the union coffers.

The Clooney offer “does not impact the contract that we’re striking over whatsoever,” said Drescher.

Clooney and his supporters made the offer earlier this week in a meeting with SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and Drescher. The hope by Clooney et. al was that their excess funds would bridge the gap between the studio and streamers’ offer and the unions requests.

The proposal also sought to get lower-income members paid in residuals before higher-income members.

“First of all, I want to thank certain members that wield a lot of clout in this business for the tremendous amount of money that they contributed to our foundation,” Drescher said in a video posted to Instagram. “I also want to thank George Clooney for organizing the suggestion that… take the caps off of the dues so that the highest paid members can contribute more. Although that’s extremely generous and we accept that graciously.”

Drescher outlined why the proposal wouldn’t work.

“We are a federally regulated labor union and the only contributions that can go into our pension and health funds must be from the employer. So what we are fighting for in terms of benefits has to remain in this contract.”

She added, “[It’s] kind of apples and oranges, just so everybody understands that.”

As for residuals, there’s also a legal problem.

“There was a reference to a suggestion of maybe a solution from some people of how maybe we can get back to the table with some kind of a residual. But that was vetted by our very experienced union contract staff negotiators and lawyers. And they said that it unfortunately doesn’t hold water because, frankly, this is a very nuanced house of cards.

“So although we appreciate the effort and the desire to be supportive to all the member body, we at the union and with the negotiating committee are still waiting for the CEOs to return to the table so we can continue our talks,” Drescher said. ,

“Because in either saying no or walking away from the table, you are not really in a negotiation.”

Watch the full video below.

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