Initially, the Fund consists of $1.5 million. The Fund will also be the recipient of the residue of unused tax reserves, unclaimed distribution checks and the like from the Qualified Settlement Fund upon its termination in four to six years. The Fund may continue its operations following the closing of the Qualified Settlement Fund.
Future activities of the Fund For the Future are defined in the TV Writers' Settlement Agreements. The pertinent section from those agreements follows.
VIII. FUTURE ACTIVITIES
Fund for the Future
A portion of QSF II, specified in Administrative Order No. 3, shall be set aside to fund programs, only from the approved list set forth below, for the benefit of the Settlement Classes, which portion shall be designated the “Fund for the Future.”
1. The Trustees of QSF II shall supervise and be accountable for the holding, investment, and disbursement of these funds for as long as QSF II exists, and shall not be employed by or serve on the Board of Governors (defined infra) of the Fund for the Future. In carrying out all his, her, or its duties with respect to the Fund for the Future, the Trustees of QSF II shall act in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the Settlement Classes. If, at the dissolution of QSF II, funds set aside for the Fund for the Future remain, then such funds shall be transferred to a 501(c)(3) charitable organization for further disbursement. With Defendants’ consent (as further specified in Administrative Order No. 3), which shall not be unreasonably withheld, this charitable organization may be an existing charitable organization, or it may be a new charitable organization established specifically to disburse the Fund for the Future monies. In either event, the Fund for the Future monies shall only be used in accordance with the limitations set forth in Section VIII.B.7, infra.
2. The Fund for the Future shall have an unpaid “Board of Governors” made up of Settlement Class Members. During its first three-years there shall be at least five (5) Governors on this Board. During this initial three-year period, the Board of Governors shall be appointed by, and subject to the oversight of, the Trustees of QSF II. The Trustees shall use the following protocol in selecting the Board (and any replacements) during this initial three-year period.
a. A website specifically established for the Fund for the Future, and referenced in the Claim Form, shall solicit nominations for the Board of Governor positions and provide a mechanism for the Settlement Class Members to provide any information regarding the qualifications of the nominee(s).
b. All nominations and supporting information will be forwarded within five (5) days of receipt by the website operator to the General Counsel (defined infra) of the Fund for the Future or his or her designee for review. (The designee may not be the Trustees of QSF II.) The General Counsel or his/her designee will review the materials provided. The General Counsel then shall provide the Trustees of QSF II with a list of candidates to be considered and/or further investigated for the positions.
c. The Trustees of QSF II shall select the first Board of Governors from the list of Settlement Class Members compiled by the General Counsel or his/her designee from the nominations received.
3. The initial Board of Governors shall have five unpaid members. Three of these members shall serve three-year terms, and two of these members shall serve two-year terms (i.e., so the entire Board does not turn over at once). All subsequent terms shall be for two years.
4. The Fund for the Future shall have an executive director or administrator (“Executive Director”), who shall administer the Fund for the Future. The Executive Director shall have experience operating a charitable organization or comparable administrative experience. The Executive Director’s job responsibilities will include recommending to the Board of Governors which programs, from the approved list, to fund in any given year. The Executive Director shall report to the Fund for the Future Board of Governors and Trustees of QSF II annually, or at more frequent intervals as the Board or Trustees may require, regarding the programs implemented, the selection criteria for each, and all financial disbursements. The Fund for the Future shall also have a legal advisor (“General Counsel”) who may be a Class Counsel. The Board of Governors shall select the Executive Director, subject to the approval of the Trustees of QSF II.
5. Subject to the approval of the Trustees of QSF II and legal review by the Fund for the Future’s General Counsel, the initial Board of Governors shall form rules for the governance of the Fund for the Future (subject to the limitations set forth herein), including but not limited to procedures for selecting future members of the Board of Governors after the initial three-year period, prohibitions customary for non-profit organizations against self-dealing and conflicts of interest, and procedures for resignation or termination of a member of the Board of Governors and the filling of vacancies. The rules shall require the preparation and dissemination of an annual written report, including an accounting, regarding the Fund for the Future’s activities in the preceding year. This report shall be available to the public.
6. The Board of Governors may establish unpaid liaison and advisory committees to advise the Executive Director and Board of Governors.
7. The Fund for the Future may be used only to pay the salary of the Executive Director and his/her staff and the General Counsel (said staffing not to exceed normal and customary staffing for similarly funded charitable endeavors and such salaries not to exceed normal and customary wages and benefits for similar charitable positions),(footnote 1) to pay normal and customary operating expenses and professional fees, and to fund one or more of the following activities. If an activity is not within the scope of the programs listed below, the Fund for the Future may not sponsor or fund, in whole or in part, the activity.
a. The Fund for the Future may sponsor television writing industry networking events (e.g., screenings, readings, dinners, workshops). Participation in such events by any person or entity shall be completely voluntary.
b. The Fund for the Future may offer grants or loans to qualified Settlement Class Members to finance (or partially finance) the preparation, publicizing, marketing and dissemination of television or movie-format scripts, shorts, presentations, pilots, new media, internet or similar audio/visual works. The Fund for the Future may also sponsor or co-sponsor competitions open to Settlement Class Members, including awards, for such writing. The purpose of such awards, grants or loans shall be to increase the writer’s chances of obtaining Television Writing Opportunities. Pursuant to its rules, and subject to availability of funds, the Board of Governors shall approve awards, grants or loans for this purpose, based on criteria including, but not limited to, financial need, relevant WGA minimum scale payments, and the merits of the proposal.
c. Directly or through a third party, the Fund for the Future may provide emergency social welfare loans (i.e., food, health, transportation, or shelter) to individual Settlement Class Members who meet financial necessity criteria approved by the Board of Governors. Grants or loans for this purpose shall be based on criteria including, but not limited to, financial need.
d. The Fund for the Future may pay for a study that explores ways to enhance Settlement Class Members’ access to medical insurance and/or financial resources to supplement pensions including but not limited to annuities.
8. The Board of Governors shall have a fiduciary duty to the Settlement Class to distribute all awards, loans and grants fairly.
9. Settlement Class Members who file valid Claim Forms may waive the right to seek any benefits from the Fund for the Future in exchange for receiving an award enhancement.
10. Any dispute between the parties to this Agreement (including the Settlement Class) relating in any way to the Fund for the Future, including any program sponsored or paid for by it, shall be subject to the dispute resolution process set forth in this Agreement.
11. Defendants will have no involvement in, or responsibility for, administering the Fund for the Future.
(footnote 1) The salary for the General Counsel shall be part-time and commensurate on a pro rata basis with full-time equivalent salaries paid legal officers performing equivalent work at nonprofit organizations.