Crisis Averted! WGA and Producers Make Deal

WGA Strike, 2007 (Image: Jengod)
WGA Strike, 2007 (Image: Jengod)

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

With a looming strike just around the corner, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance Of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) have finally struck a tentative deal. The old contract expired at midnight, but negotiations prevailed in the end for a new three-year agreement.

According to Deadline, the deal came in at around 12:45 am this morning with people inside being seen to be embracing. The deal still needs to go before the WGA West’s board and the WGA East’s council in order to be ratified, but it’s almost certain to be accepted by members.

In a statement, the guild said that they, “made gains in minimums across the board – as well as contribution increases to our Health Plan that should ensure its solvency for years to come. And we further expanded our protections in Options and Exclusivity.”

This is a huge win for the Guild who were able to strike a fair deal for the members. Plus the late-night talk shows also avoided having to go on without scripted jokes, similar to the 2007/08 and 1988 strikes.

The WGA’s statement went on to detail everything they’ll be getting out of this deal saying, “We also made unprecedented gains on the issue of short seasons in television, winning a definition (which has never before existed in our MBA) of 2.4 weeks of work for each episodic fee. Any work beyond that span will now require additional payment for hundreds of writer-producers.

“We won a 15% increase in Pay TV residuals, roughly $15 million in increases in High-Budget SVOD residuals, and, for the first time ever, residuals for comedy-variety writers in Pay TV. And, also for the first time ever, job protection on Parental Leave.”

The Negotiating Committee does say that they didn’t get everything they wanted, but there is a silver lining. The statement continued, “Did we get everything we wanted? No. Everything we deserve? Certainly not. But because we had the near-unanimous backing of you and your fellow writers, we were able to achieve a deal that will net this Guild’s members $130 million more, over the life of the contract, than the pattern we were expected to accept.

“That result, and that resolve, is a testament to you, your courage, and your faith in us as your representatives. We will, of course, provide more details in the next few days. But until then, we just wanted to thank you – and congratulate you. Your voices were indeed heard.”

Now that the writers strike has been averted, the next thing to worry about is the new SAG-AFTRA contract that will undergo negotiations later this month. With any luck, that will go smoother than the writers’ negotiations.

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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