Orsatti Retiring

jor restructuring of Screen Actors Guild operations became apparent this week with the announced retirement of SAGs national executive director, as well as the unions number two exec stating he would seek a less active post.Ken Orsatti, SAGs national executive director, has announced that he will leave the guild Jan. 15 after nearly four decades. John McGuire, SAGs associate national executive director, told SAGs board of directors last weekend he did not want to replace Orsatti, but hoped to move away from his own position to another less-pressured spot within the guild.Orsatti has been SAGs national executive since 1981, and employed by SAG since 1961, when he began as a theatrical business rep in Hollywood.William Daniels, SAGs national president, told Back Stage on Monday that he had already started putting together a search team to find a new national executive. Asked if he would also seek to refill the associate national executive post, he said that would depend on recommendations that would come from a membership committee studying how to restructure the guilds staff. Daniels noted that Towers Perrin, a management consultant, had recommended a number of restructuring ideas in May. The membership committee is reviewing those recommendations to come up with a plan of internal reorganization.Towers Perrins report consisted of a plethora of recommendations involving realignment of executive control and a reduction in regional offices. Suggestions included a national restructuring involving two staff executive roles overseeing two centers of expertise: (1) an executive office, analogous to the current national executive director position, which would be involved in strategy and stewardship; (2) an operations office, replacing the current national associate executive director post, reporting to the executive office, and overseeing day-to-day activities.The report expected the restructuring to expand the control of the executive office, while reducing the control span of the operations section.More specific responsibilities of the executive office would include strategy and research, finance and accounting, human resources, and a general counsel.The operations office duties would include residuals, legal affairs, member services, agency, and information technology.The executive office would maintain the current number of personnel: an executive and two administrative assistants. The operations office would employ three workers: a director and two assistants.The report recommended a centralized national office based in Los Angeles. The guilds 24 regional offices would be consolidated into six regional offices: Hollywood, New York, and unnamed west, midwest, northeast, and southeast offices. The new sectional offices would each serve a geographic area with a minimum membership of 4,000.Each regional offices responsibilities, the report suggested, would include contract and field operations. Contract activities would involve interpretation, claims and signatory efforts; field operations would include monitoring sets and employer organizing.While each regional office would have the same basic organization structure, staffing levels would vary according to the membership population served, and/or number of productions in their prescribed geographic areas.Only core SAG activities that need to be conducted in the field will be housed in the regional offices, the report noted. All other services that do not need to be provided on a local/regional basis will be housed at SAG national offices.The report listed branch network costs according to the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1999, and salary data as of March 1, 2000. Those figures showed a total cost of just over $33 million for all branches, with just over $25 million for salaries and $7.8 million in other costs.Those figures were broken down as follows: Hollywood, $22.5 million total cost, $17.3 million for salaries, $5.2 million other costs. New York had $8.2 million in total expenses, consisting of $6 million in salaries and $2.2 million other. All other branches listed $2.2 million total, with $1.9 million for salaries and $365,360 other. Joint AFTRA-run offices cost a total of $2.8 million, with no salary figures available.The report expected the reorganization to significantly improve SAGs productivity and reduce its costs through reduced staff and office expenses, increased capabilities, and improved membership satisfaction.Labor expense was expected to fall from $5.3 million to $6.6 million, with other expenses falling by $1.6 million to $2 millio