The Writers Guild of America asked members on Monday to vote on a “line of demand,” the main theme that will guide the union’s position in negotiations with major studios.
The sale will begin on March 20. The current contract will expire on May 1. The group is looking for better staffing and a better deal on the remaining payments for streaming programs.
The “on-demand system” also includes addressing the “abuse of small rooms,” where TV seasons are written with fewer writers in a shorter time frame than usual. The demands also include increasing the use of “interval protection,” where writers are paid extra time to write a story.
The WGA is also seeking to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in text systems.
An email went out to members this morning asking for a “yes” vote on the request. Ballots must be submitted by noon Pacific time on March 7.
Here, by source, is a complete list of “product requirements.”
WATER AND SPIRIT
- Add minimum compensation to address text degradation in all areas of television, new media and features
- Adjust the compensation and terms of the features whether they are released in theaters or on streaming
- Addressing abuse of small rooms
- Ensuring proper compensation for television series throughout the production, production and post-production process
- Expand the protection gap to cover all television writers
- Apply the minimum MBA to comedy-variety programs made for new media
- Increase the remaining uncompensated market
- Limit the use of unpaid bills
PENSION PLAN AND HEALTHCARE
- Increase Contribution to Pension Plan and Health Fund
PROFESSIONAL STATUS AND CONSERVATION IN WRITERS’ WORK.
- For feature contracts where the compensation falls below a certain threshold, I need to pay the compensation every week in two minimum steps.
- Reinforce options and exceptions in television writer employment contracts
- Adjust the use of materials produced using artificial intelligence or the like
- Establish measures to combat discrimination and harassment and promote equal pay
- Review and expand all arbitrator lists
And here is the full text of the email:
The current minimum base agreement expires on May 1, 2023. As we prepare to negotiate for the new MBA, your approval of the Request Form is a constitutionally required step in the transaction process. While the process does not detail specific decisions to be made during the consultation, it is designed to inform the members of our two Guilds of the general policy that we will be following.
We are writing to ask for your support by voting YES in support of the Demand Plan – the result of ongoing discussions with our members over the past three years. This Plan comes to you in its entirety from the Negotiation Committee, as well as the governing bodies of the two organizations: the WGA West Board of Directors and the WGA East Council.
The 2023 MBA interview takes place in the context of an expanding media industry that continues to be very profitable, despite the short-term decline in profits affecting some companies. The main goal of our negotiating committee will be to build on the success of previous contracts, and to ensure that authors receive their fair share of the proceeds of their creations.
Eligible members can vote online on the Request Form here. If you have any questions about the voting process, you can contact Jennifer Burt, WGAW’s Chief Election Officer, at (323) 782-4569 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will continue to receive more information about the proposal in the coming weeks and months. More information about the proposal status is available on the WGA Contract 2023 website, https://www.wgacontract2023.org/.
Thank you for your attention to this important step in our consultation process.
MEREDITH STIEHM, WGAW PRESIDENT
MICHAEL WINSHIP, WGAE PRESIDENT
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