SAG-AFTRA and RABS Digital Vouchers

Digital Vouchers vs Paper

This article has now been superseded by the SAG-AFTRA approval of the RABS Digital Voucher. More: details.

SAG-AFTRA has been aware of the RABS Digital Voucher for as long as RABS has been in business. With so many shows interested in using our tech, growing a relationship with SAG-AFTRA is imperative to everyones’ success; when will there be a unity between SAG-AFTRA and RABS Digital Vouchers? The hope is for the guild to waive the provision in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), to allow a production to use the RABS Digital Voucher instead of paper vouchers.

The RABS Digital Voucher has been used in most major non-union cities where studio productions are made (New Orleans, Atlanta, Albuquerque, even Pittsburgh, Miami, and Orlando), to great success. The RABS Digital Voucher has been used in union signatory regions for the non-union background on specific projects (New York and Philadelphia), also to great success. But to date, there have been limited circumstances where the RABS Digital Voucher has been able to be used by SAG-AFTRA members.

The challenges of implementing the RABS Digital Voucher, we’d have to assume, from a guild point of view, are three:

1. comfort of their members.

2. conflict with their CBA.

3. security and reliability of the RABS Digital Voucher.

1. Comfort of SAG-AFTRA member background

Paper vouchers have been around for nearly a century. RABS Digital Vouchers, despite being better than paper vouchers in every way, are new. Transitioning to a new technology from a prevalent process may pose challenges to guild membership. It’s a transformation of expectations and experience which requires wise maneuvering. It requires industry change from background casting to crew to background payroll.

2. Use of RABS Digital Vouchers may conflict with interpretations of the CBA

The CBA calls for a voucher or contract to be given to each background performer, which is interpreted as meaning paper voucher or contract. This interpretation comes from roughly a century of paper vouchers. The fact that no digital voucher has been successful before the RABS Digital Voucher lends validity to the paper requirement interpretation of the CBA language. This is possibly the most important concern of all, because there is contractual language that would prevent the use of the RABS Digital Voucher.

3. Security and Reliability of the RABS Digital Voucher

This is a fair concern, as all digital tools should be scrutinized from a cybersecurity point of view. It’s worth noting that paper vouchers are neither secure nor reliable. That said, any system that ingests personal identifiable information needs to comply with industry best security protocols and practices. Fortunately, RABS is a secured system, and more information can be found here: RABS PRIVACY & SECURITY

RABS position can be summarized:

The benefits to SAG-AFTRA member background and to SAG-AFTRA signatory productions that come from using the RABS Digital Voucher are significant. They extend from background casting all the way to background payroll.

The usual benefits of the RABS App is significant. They’re attested to many times and in many place. In summary, from a production stand point, they’re efficiency, accuracy, compliance, and cost savings.

The greatest benefit of all will come when SAG-AFTRA signatory shows are able to use the RABS Digital Voucher.

Tips on your RABS Digital Voucher: Tips for the RABS Digital Voucher

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