How can this all translate into a 9-5 job? Stephen’s focus every day is to best ensure we Canadian performers are treated fairly and paid fairly for our work no matter where it’s seen. Whether on the phone, writing emails or in meetings, he works beyond the limit of time, always looking for a better deal, a better way, a better agreement. When asked what he might have done better, Stephen said, “Focus our proposals – don’t take too many into negotiations as too much time will be spent managing a significant number of proposals; set priorities and stick to them.” That, in a nutshell, tells you just how far Stephen will go for this union. Never saying No.
We have seen ACTRA shift and change over these past 75 years and this transition will be no different. However, when Stephen passes the baton, he won’t simply disappear but will stay on to advise. ‘Cuz these shoes will be tough to fill! Always looking to better this union, Stephen hopes ACTRA will continue to improve in the bargaining process. “Be well-researched on industry economics and trends. The influence of U.S. studios in our bargaining is becoming more significant as U.S. studios move more production to Canada. And Internet broadcasters, like Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix, are increasing their financing on production in Canada for broadcast on their platforms. And always, ALWAYS be prepared to take a strike vote. It is our greatest bargaining tool because this business we call Show just cannot do without us. Literally.”
I raise a wee dram to our Commander-in-Chief. There are no words, literally, to fully thank you Stephen for all you’ve done for ACTRA. Your devotion, determination and perseverance have been remarkable. You have served us well, so well.
Now, about Netflix, Stephen. Any thoughts? 😉