DGA office changes into ‘new, improved rep model’

After nearly 30 years of operation, the Chicago DGA office will close and adopt what the DGA National Board calls “a new and improved representation model” for Midwest-based members, DGA president Paris Barclay informed members in a letter Monday.

“The National Board decided a satellite office staffed with a single generalist cannot adequately provide you with the effective representation you deserve,” he said in the letter.

In the new model, which the DGA has been following since the April retirement of Midwestern executive director Dan Moore after 28 years in that position, New York DGA executives serve as the staff liaison to the Chicago Coordinating Committee, handle contract negotiations and work with the Committee to schedule an increased number of events here, including regularly-scheduled annual meetings. 

Guild executives also will work closely with other area unions and Chicago-based members “in developing stronger relationships with the local production community and state and city elected officials to promote production,” Barclay stated. 

“On any given day, we may have an executive at a Chicago Coordinating Committee meeting, another executive in contract negotiations and a field representative visiting a film set in, for instance, Ohio.” 

In the past six months, the DGA has made “substantial progress” in open contract negotiations with local TV stations in Chicago and Detroit; dramatically increased set activity; increased its grievance activity, and held its first ever Safety Passport Training in Chicago, Barclay reported.

The Chicago Coordinating Committee will continue to represent member concerns.  Members can continue to run for elected positions on the Eastern Councils and serve on Committees.

The Chicago office will remain open until the end of February to create an effective transition.  

On Wednesday, New York Guild executives will answer members’ questions about the transition at a Chicago Coordinating Committee to be held at noon at DGA offices in the Wrigley Building.  The meeting will be led by associate national executive director/Eastern executive director Russell Hollander and special assignments executive Mike Ryan.