Why Fi-core is a bad idea.
Recently I got an email from someone who asked if going Financial Core was a good idea. This was my reply:
Hi Joe: I said I'd get back to you about Financial Core.
Let me give you some facts. There's no such thing as a fi-core member. Either you are a Union member or you aren't, and when you're fi-core you're not. You're just a fee paying non-member. Fi-core means you resign your SAG-AFTRA membership and you quit the union. Fi-core seems like a short-term fix, but it's a long-term disaster for you, your career, and your fellow professionals. Here's what you lose:
You forfeit the right to list SAG-AFTRA, as one of your unions in talent directories on your headshot, your resumes, or on your website.
You forfeit the privilege to represent yourself as a SAG-AFTRA member to producers, casting directors, directors, and everyone else in the industry.
You forfeit your right to run for office in union elections and vote for candidates for union office.
You forfeit your right to vote on strike authorizations.
You forfeit your right to vote to ratify or reject union contracts.
You forfeit your right to participate in casting workshops, network showcases, personal service contract workshops, or attend professional seminars hosted by the union.
You forfeit your access to supplemental benefits and discount programs, such as union credit cards, prescription drug cards, life insurance, legal services, travel services, and other benefits reserved for union members only.
You lose the respect of union performers across the country. (Many of us refuse to work with fi-core members.)
When you work nonunion SAG-AFTRA has no authority to intervene on your behalf, and you lose the protections of the union contract.
This nonunion work that these financial-core members are participating in erodes our contracts and erodes everything that Jimmy Cagney and Eddie Cantor fought for when they formed this guild: safe working conditions, decent pay. And union people who choose to work nonunion are kind of just spitting on the graves of those actors who sacrificed their careers and their lives to secure pension and health for us.
Is it really worth it?