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SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?Taking a cue from David Letterman, SAG-AFTRA has released a “Top Ten” list of reasons why its members should vote “yes” on the union’s just-negotiated film and TV contract. We’ve laid out the list here, with some heavy-handed editing for, ahem, excessive length, but all the words are theirs, not ours. What do you think about their list? Do you have your own list of reasons (yes or no) to back the contract?

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SAG-AFTRA Film and TV Contract Expires at Midnight Monday

By | Sunday June 29, 2014 @ 5:59pm PDT

SAG-AFTRA Film and TV Contract Expires at Midnight MondayNegotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and television contract are coming down to the wire. The union’s current contract expires midnight Monday night, and neither side will say whether they are close to a deal. The contract generates more than $1 billion annually for the union’s members.
If a deal isn’t reached by then, the union and management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers can extend the contract until an agreement is reached. If the two sides reach an impasse, it could take as long as a month for the union to conduct a strike authorization vote among its 165,000 members.
The contract talks, which began May 5, have been conducted under a so-called “press blackout.” The AMPTP has been keeping the studios and networks apprised of any progress, or lack thereof. The only ones who don’t know what’s going on are the union’s members.

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Hollywood Adopted Railroad Safety Guidelines Shortly Before Sarah Jones’ Death

By | Friday May 23, 2014 @ 8:45am PDT

Sarah Jones Death Safety GuidelinesTen months before Sarah Jones was killed in a tragic railroad accident on the Georgia set of Midnight Rider, the AMPTP Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee issued “Safety Bulletin #28: Guidelines for Railroad Safety” — an eerily prescient warning about the hazard of working on and around railroad trains and tracks. Not a single news outlet even mentioned that it had been issued. As the wrongful death suit filed Wednesday by Jones’ parents proceeds through the legal system, one question that almost certainly will arise is whether the production company, in preparation for setting up its shot that February day on that ill-fated stretch of railroad track, informed crew members of the Safety Committee’s bulletin — or whether they were even aware of its existence. One of the hard lessons that Hollywood should learn from Jones’ death is that there needs to be a wider dissemination and discussion of industry safety guidelines.

Related: The Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia

midnight-rider-train-tracks__140331201247-275x172The suit alleges that Jones was killed because the production company “operated without minimum safety precautions and contrary to standard industry practices for productions of this scale and for productions involving dangerous filming conditions.” Those safety standards are clearly spelled out in Safety Bulletin #28, and according to the lawsuit, the production company violated a good many of them.

Related: Safety On Set: Camera Crew Outnumber Stunt Personnel In On-Set Deaths

The bulletin states: “Prior to starting rail work, the production, in conjunction with the railroad representative, will conduct a safety meeting with all involved personnel to acquaint cast and crew members with possible workplace risks.” The lawsuit, however, alleges that the production company “failed to hold a safety meeting prior to filming.” The bulletin states: “Always follow the instructions of the designated railroad representative, and any written work or safety rules distributed by production.” The suit claims that the production company “failed to secure approval for filming” from CSX Transportation, which operates the tracks, and “concealed their lack of approval from CSX from the cast and crew.”

CSX was one of 18 defendants named in the lawsuit filed by by Richard and Elizabeth Jones in Georgia’s State Court of Chatham County on behalf of their daughter’s estate, asking for a jury trial. Other defendants include director-producer Randall Miller and producer-wife Jody Savin, along with their Unclaimed Freight production company. Unit production manager Jay Sedrish, 1st A.D. Hillary Schwartz, location manager Charlie Baxter, and exec producer Nick Gant and his Meddin Studios were also named, as was Midnight Rider distributor Open Road Films, exec producer Gregg Allman, and Film Allman, LLC.

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SAG-AFTRA Talks Start Monday: What To Expect

By | Friday May 2, 2014 @ 12:35pm PDT

SAG-AFTRA Labor NegotiationsWith negotiations for a new of SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract set to begin Monday, all signs are pointing to weeks of intense bargaining — followed by a new deal with significant gains and no rollbacks that will be resoundingly ratified by the union’s members. In other words, no actors strike this year; you can bank on it. The upcoming negotiations will be the union’s first film and TV contract talks since SAG and AFTRA merged in 2012, but they’ve been jointly negotiating their film and TV pacts since 1981, so in a sense it’s like a couple that’s been living together for 33 years and finally getting married. So don’t expect any big changes in the talks to replace the current contract which expires June 30.

WGA Members Approve New Contract
DGA Board Approves New Contract With Producers

SAG-AFTRA_meetingThe DGA and the WGA both negotiated new contracts earlier this year, and those deals — both of which were overwhelmingly approved by their members — will set the framework for the new SAG-AFTRA deal. The DGA and WGA pacts each contain a 2.5% pay raise for the first year of the contract and 3% increases in minimums for each of the following years, plus a 0.5% increase in employer contributions to the unions’ pension and health plans, so SAG-AFTRA will most likely get the same deal. Complicating the matter for the actors’ union, however, is the fact that there are still two separate TV contracts covering actors, and that AFTRA’s minimums are 3.5% higher than SAG’s.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Takes “First Step” To Merge Health Plans

This discrepancy found its way into the contracts when AFTRA walked out on the joint contract talks in 2008 and signed a separate three-year deal with producers, and SAG held out and kept working under the terms of the old contract for over a year before finally reaching a two-year deal. This left SAG out on the first year’s 3.5% pay raise that AFTRA received, and the two contracts have been out of sync ever since. (This imbalance was left in their contracts when they returned to the bargaining table together and made a deal for a new contract in 2010.) Read More »

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SAG-AFTRA Unveils New Logo As Contract Talks Loom

By | Thursday May 1, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT

new SAG-AFTRA logoThey still haven’t melded the Health & Pension Plans, but today SAG-AFTRA does have a new logo. Approved last month in a 2-1 vote by the union’s National Board and unveiled today, the new look was conceived and designed by veteran branding company Siegel+Gale. Looking vaguely like something a European political party would use, the logo is meant to exemplify SAG-AFTRA’s “primary brand attributes — strength, excellence and unity,” according to the union. SAG-AFTRA begins contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers on Monday in the union’s first major contract negotiation since merging just more than two years ago.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Extras Squeezed Out Of Health & Pension Plans

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WGA Members Approve New Contract; Less Than 15% Of Eligible Voters Cast Ballots

By | Wednesday April 30, 2014 @ 1:52pm PDT

WGA__140323131419With one day to go before its current 3-year contract expires, the WGA said today that its members ratified the new agreement by a huge margin — the ones who actually voted, that is. “The WGA membership overwhelmingly voted in favor of ratifying the contract by 98.5 percent,” the union said in a statement. Ballots were to be cast online, by mail or at membership meetings in New York and Los Angeles on April 29. Not that a lot of the union’s members turned out to actually vote on the deal that was struck on April 2 with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers. Of the 8,218 eligible WGA voters, only 1,193 valid votes were actually cast. That’s just 14%. Of those actually voting, there were 1,175 “Yes” votes and 18 “No” votes, according to the union. Last time round in 2011, 1,952 votes were cast with 90.7% voting in favor of the agreement. Having said that, at least the WGA revealed how many members voted. When DGA members ratified their new deal earlier this year, all the union would say was that it was approved by an “overwhelming margin.” The new WGA contract runs from May 2 this year until May 1, 2017.

Related: New WGA Contract Contains Changes In Options & Exclusivity Rules, Increases, No Rollbacks

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SAG-AFTRA Sets May 5 For Start Of New Contract Talks With AMPTP

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 4:41pm PDT

SAG_AFTRA_Logo__130627231650__130712010638__130731223802__130917164007__131120210226__131231053636__140304171223__140306020458SAG-AFTRA said today that they’ll sit down with the studios and networks on May 5 to start negotiations on a new 3-year contract.  This is the first truly big contract to be worked out by the union since SAG and AFTRA merged two years ago. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the WGA finally reached a deal on a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers. Today, in meetings in L.A., the SAG-AFTRA National Board unanimously rubber stamped proposals for the upcoming talks based on their mandated wages and working conditions meetings with members. Typical of SAG-AFTRA,  the proposals themselves are being kept under lock and key. However, there is little doubt that they include measures about a rise in contributions to the now merged unions still separated Health and Pension plans as well as increases in minimums and residuals based on the pattern bargaining approach utilized by the DGA and the WGA. The first union to sit down with the studios and networks, the DGA sealed their deal late last year. With their current deal set to expire on June 30, SAG-AFTRA will be led by union prez Ken Howard in the contract talks.  Potential NBA Players Union chief  and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White will serve as chief negotiator when the union meets with AMPTP at their Sherman Oaks HQ next month.

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WGA Sets New Contract Ratification Vote Online, By Mail & In Person

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

wga-logo__140128204911__140131020047__140205212542__140306212740__140307232618__140331211919Less than a week after reaching an agreement on a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers, the WGA today announced it’s bringing the contract to a membership vote (see the email to members below). “This year, ballots may be cast online, by mail (for those requesting a paper ballot) or at membership meetings in New York and Los Angeles on April 29, 2014,” said WGA West President Chris Keyser and Michael Winship, President, WGA East in an email to members. The union’s current contract expires on May 1. The duo also revealed that both the WGA West Board and the WGA East Council have unsurprisingly approved the new contract. Read More »

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New WGA Deal Contains Changes In Options & Exclusivity Rules, Increases In Compensation Rates & Cable Script Minimums, 0.5% Pension Increase, No Rollbacks

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 6:20pm PDT

Writers Guild New ContractWith the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers reaching an agreement on a new three-year contract late last night, the union this afternoon filled in its members  on what actually is in the deal via an email (see below) from Negotiating Committee Co-Chairs Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray out of the “complicated and protracted” negotiations ”The three-year deal features increases to our minimum compensation rates, increased contributions to our Pension Plan, minimums for subscription video-on-demand programs, increased residuals for ad-supported streaming, outsized increases in script minimums for one-hour basic cable writers, and a doubling of the theatrical script publication fee,” said the message to members.

Perhaps the biggest step forward in the new agreement is in the issue of options and exclusivity, a stickler for the WGA during these contract talks. Starting New Year’s Day 2015, writers who earn less than $200,000 per contract year will no longer have to be exclusive to a network or company except “during periods when the writer is being paid for his or her writing services” and  ”the Company may not hold a writer for more than 90 days under a negotiated option agreement without paying a holding fee of at least 1/3 of the MBA minimum for the writer’s services.” Additionally, Johannessen and Billy Ray say that the producers’ pre-talks request for $60 million in rollbacks from the health and pension plans, residuals and targeted screenplay minimums were “taken off the table.”

Related: WGA Read More »

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WGA & AMPTP Reach Tentative New 3-Year Deal

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 9:45am PDT

WGA Labor ContractAfter two final days back at the negotiating table this week, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers late last night reached a deal on a new three-year contract. No details of the agreement have been revealed as both parties want to reach out to respective members later today before going public, I’m told. The current contract expires May 1, which means the longer-than-expected talks leave the union having to pull together a ratification vote lickety-split.

Already agreeing on everything but the chestnut issues of options and exclusivity, the two sides took an 18-day break before returning to talks at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks on Monday. As I reported on March 6, even with the scribes taking a stronger line than during the last negotiations and the studios/networks more divided than last time, the sides were “very close” to a deal even before they took their first temporary recess from February 15-March 4. That break came after an initial two weeks AMPTPof talks that started February 3. Though no one was thumping the table and calling for a strike, talks started with a lot of tension after the studios and networks requested $60 million in rollbacks from the health and pension plans, residuals and targeted screenplay minimums on just before the talks got underway. Still, as widely anticipated under Hollywood’s pattern bargaining system, the final deal worked out is expected to be similar to the agreement the DGA made with the studios and networks.

Writers Rally As Talks Resume: A Deadline Survey
Why Options & Exclusivity Issue Is So Important To WGA

corona__140328221654-275x169Now only SAG-AFTRA among the major Hollywood guilds is left to work out a new contract. The actors union, which will be entering their first such negotiations since merging in 2012, are still going through final stages of mandated wages and working conditions meetings with members. Read More »

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Writers Rail As Talks Resume – Second Question In A Deadline Survey

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 4:36pm PDT
Mike Fleming

coronaAs talks are about to resume Monday on the final elements that many hope will lead to a new deal for the Writers Guild Of America, we wanted to lend some perspective and give voice to the TV and feature writers whose fortunes will be tied directly to the deal their union makes. This is the second in a quick succession of five questions we asked a panel of 10 writers. Here are their responses, and hopefully other writers will be moved to comment about the issues that worry them most as their work is monetized in this fast-changing digital age.

Related: WGA: Why Gains, Lessons From 2008′s Strike Will Keep Hollywood From Another War

DEADLINE: As a working writer, what is the biggest hardship right now facing you (i.e., one-step deals for feature writers, exclusivity clauses for TV writers), the one that gives you the greatest amount of worry for you and your WGA brethren?

WRITER #1: I think the biggest setback from the strike was one-step deals. One-step deals were a direct result of the strike — a punishment that said “you think you’re in control, we’ll show you how control works.” It’s also a real mistake for studios that has resulted in crash rewrites deep in production and some god-awful movies. The great irony is that the scripts studios routinely praise like Gravity or Inception or Chinatown or Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid all took YEARS and MANY revisions to become the classic films they are today. Some of the biggest blockbusters of all time including Star Wars and Avatar (to name just two) had five- and even 10-year writing periods. The process allowed those films to go through a critical process of treatments and rough drafts to evolve to the great films they are today. The heavy lifting work was done at the writing stage.

Deadline Writers Survey – Question #1
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #3
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #4
Deadline Writers Survey – Question #5

bfinkBut studios think bottom line numbers — they see one-step deals as providing them with the ability to cut bait when first-draft scripts don’t come in as home runs – but first drafts aren’t going to come in great except in a few rare cases. The scripts that become great films come in good or maybe even very good but not great. Almost all scripts need several drafts to reach the level where they become actually ready to film. The evil secret of one-step deals is that you sell your idea to a studio, you write it, and if a competing project at another studio comes along or a director or star falls out, the studios have a free out. As a result, good movies are dying before they are even really born. The other problem is now studios hire inexpensive writers, get a first draft, confirm that “there is a movie there” and then pay seven figures to someone like me to come in and actually write it and then often someone else during production. The result is that the voice of the original writer — the creator — is severely diluted.

The vast majority of studio screenplay contracts set strict delivery at 90 days. It doesn’t take a NASA scientist to realize that you can’t have that kind of deadline for every script — world creations like Star Wars takes longer than a 90-day romantic comedy? A complex piece like Inception cannot be done in 90 days — no matter who you are — that’s why in the published version of Inception, Chris Nolan talks about the 10 years he spent writing it. The writing process is a complete mystery to studios and executives — they all think they can do it but none of them ever do. This lack of understanding has haunted the film business and the writer-executive relationship since the first days of the film business. I read an interview with a very old screenwriter and he was talking about how things were in the 1940s and what he was saying then is exactly what writers are saying today. Nothing has really changed.

Personally, I simply refuse to make one-step deals. I won’t do it. You teach people how to treat you in life AND particularly in the film business and when you roll back your quotes or steps those slimy, filthy scumbags that work in studio business affairs make a little note of your compromise in their screwing talent ledger.  That note is there when they go to make the next deal with you and they share it with their fellow slimy, filthy, scumbag colleagues at other studios. I simply don’t do it and my representatives say right up front, we will not accept a one-step deal. Read More »

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WGA Negotiations Impasse: Why Options & Exclusivity Issue Is So Important To Writers

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 2:21pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Issues faced by TV writers again are the sticking point in the WGA negotiations amptp-wgawith the studios. In 2007, when the impasse led to a writers strike, it was residuals from series distributed online. This time around, it is the restrictive contracts for writers working in cable and on digital platforms. Under pattern bargaining, the deal between the WGA and AMPTP was expected to be similar to the recent DGA agreement with the studios with two writer-specific issues brought to the table by WGA — parity between cable and broadcast pay and the notion of exclusively and options. One of the two seem to have been resolved. “Every aspect of our contract has been negotiated and agreed upon with two exceptions — options and exclusivity — which remain points of contention between us,” negotiating committee co-chairs Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray wrote to their constituency last night. What are options and exclusivity, why are they so important to writers and what do writers seek to accomplish on them ?

While the number of scripted cable series at the time of the 2007 negotiations was a fraction of the number of such shows on broadcast, there is now parity between the two, with cable and digital scripted programming gaining an edge with rapid expansion. For instance, during calendar year 2013, broadcast networks introduced 23 new series, while cable/digital debuted almost 40, not counting kids fare. That means that soon there may be more writers working in cable and digital than in broadcast, all of them facing the underemployment problem that is at the heart of the current WGA-AMPTP stand-off.

Related:  New Development Model From Writers’ Perspective: More Opportunities, Less Pay?

What has been hailed as major part of the lure of cable as a superior creative environment — shorter orders — has become a major practical problem for writers. As Johannessen and Ray pointed out in their letter, broadcast dramas employ writers for 10 months a year to produce 22 episodes, followed by a two-month unpaid hiatus before writers start work on the following season. In cable/digital, 10-13 episodes a season is the norm, though shorter orders — as few as eight or even six (HBO’s Getting On) — also are accepted.

writers_room_middle“Writers on short-order shows now find themselves working for half a year or less, then stuck on unpaid hiatus for open-ended periods while waiting to see if their show — and their contract — will be renewed,” Johannessen and Ray wrote. According to a standard cable contract, because of the long lag time between seasons, shows have an option on a writer for up to six months after the previous season finale airs or up to 9 months after the season premiere. During that time, they are not getting paid. What’s more, “during this period they are virtually unemployable because studios demand ‘exclusivity’ and ‘first position,’ preventing writers from seeking other work, their ability to make a living cut off,” the letter said. That often involves not only inability to staff on another show, but also write a pilot or work as a producer on one, and, in some cases, even write a feature. The exclusivity is strictly enforced by many studios, and any side gig usually requires an exhaustive process of seeking the studio’s permission, which may or may not be granted. Read More »

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No WGA Deal Yet, Talks Set To Resume On March 31

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 6:12pm PDT

wga-logo__140128204911__140131020047__140205212542__140306212740After less than a week back at the negotiating table, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers have almost reached an agreement on a new 3-year contract. “Almost” being the operative word. “Last week we concluded our second round of contract talks with the AMPTP,” said Negotiating Committee Co-Chairs Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray and WGA West President Chris Keyser in a message (see below) to members today. “Every aspect of our contract has been negotiated and agreed upon with two exceptions — options and exclusivity — which remain points of contention between us.” Letting everyone in the room take a deep breath, the WGA and AMPTP now are going to take the second break of their contract talks. The two sides will come back together on March 31 and April 1 for one final session to try to reach a conclusive deal.

WGA & AMPTP “Very Close” To New Labor Deal
WGA Contract Talks Brittle In Opening Days Over “Ridiculous” AMPTP Proposals 

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WGA & AMPTP “Very Close” To New Labor Deal

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 2:00pm PST

wga-logo__140128204911__140131020047__140205212542EXCLUSIVE: Four days after returning to the negotiating table, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers are near an agreement on a new three-year contract, I’ve learned. “We’re not there yet and there are still a few more I’s to dot and T’s to cross, but we’re very close,” one insider told me today. With many of the bulky points already coming together in the first two weeks of talks, the two sides spent some of their two-week temporary recess fine-tuning the agreement, sources on both sides say, before sitting down again at AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks HQ. An official announcement could come as early as the beginning of next week. If you take out the downtime, this year’s talks pretty much follow the timeline of the placid 2011 negotiations, which started on March 3 that year and were all done by March 20.

RelatedWGA Contract Talks Brittle In Opening Days Over “Ridiculous” AMPTP Proposals 

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WGA Contract Talks Off Until March 4

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 7:22pm PST

wga-logo__140128204911__140131020047The WGA‘s talks with the AMPTP over a new basic agreement began February 3 and there’s been little word from either side — except some hints of unease over the multimillion-dollar rollback proposal producers sent the guild before negotiations began. Now the two sides are taking a “temporary recess for scheduling reasons” and will resume negotiations March 4, two days after the Oscars. The joint release this evening:

Today the Writers Guilds of America, West and East concluded two weeks of bargaining with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) toward a new Minimum Basic Agreement. The parties have agreed to a temporary recess for scheduling reasons. Negotiations will resume on March 4th. Neither the Guilds nor the AMPTP will be commenting further at this time.

Related: Writers Hopeful As They Head Into Contract Negotiations

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WGA Contract Talks Brittle In Opening Days Over “Ridiculous” AMPTP Proposals

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 2:00pm PST

wga-logo__140128204911__140131020047There’ll be fireworks but no fire, and there will be a deal in the end. That’s the word I’m hearing from both sides out of the WGA’s contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers after two days of talks. No one is commenting publicly, but I’ve learned that besides presentations from both sides during the opening days, there’s palpable unease in the room at AMPTP HQ thanks to the multimillion-dollar rollback proposal producers sent the WGA more than a week before negotiations began. “There’s a feeling of, Why did you have to insult us?’” a WGA insider told me over the producers’ request for $60 million in rollbacks from the health and pension plans, residuals and targeted screenplay minimums. “Once again it makes us the least favored child of the guilds.” Some on the other side of the table don’t disagree with that assessment. “Those were ridiculous proposals meant to appease the people at the top, not anyone in the room,” a well-placed producer told me. “That’s why they were sent out more than a week and a half before talks started, to get the shot across the bow out of the way.”

Related: Writers Hopeful As They Head Into Contract Negotiations With Producers Read More »

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WGA Claims AMPTP Wants Big Pension & Health Contribution Cuts In New Contract

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 6:21pm PST

wga-logo__140128204911Things are going downhill already just days before the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers are set to start negotiating a new 3-year contract. In an almost bizarre move, the producers allegedly told the WGA last week that they want “60 million dollars in rollbacks for writers, 32 million of that coming from our health plan,” according to an email sent out to WGA members today. “But it doesn’t stop there. Other proposals targeted screenplay minimums (11 million dollar rollback), TV residuals, and our Pension Plan,” adds the correspondence from WGA negotiating committee co-chairs Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray. “These proposed rollbacks for writers come at a time of unprecedented prosperity for the studios,” say Johannessen and Ray. “The collective profits of our 6 major bargaining partners (Disney, CBS, Comcast, Fox, Time Warner and Viacom) just hit a record $40 billion. This prosperity is based on our work, we are the creative force driving it. Are $60 million in rollbacks a just reward?” The letter to members adds that they were “surprised” by the opening proposals. That would be putting it mildly.

WGA West Rejects MPPA “Unreasonable” Approach To Copyright Infringement
AMPTP Respond To WGA West Plan To Go After Deadbeat Producers

The WGA and AMPTP are scheduled to sit down on February 3 at the producers group HQ in Sherman Oaks. With today’s letter, what many expected to be relatively smooth discussions akin … Read More »

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WGA Sets February 3 As Start Of New Contract Talks With Producers

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 12:43pm PST

wga logoNearly a month after DGA members ratified their new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers, the WGA today announced that it will sit down for their talks with the producers on February 3. The negotiations are set to take place at AMPTP HQ in Sherman Oaks. While the Writers Guild took the step to announce its negotiating committee on November 13, up to today, neither they nor SAG-AFTRA had set a start date for their respective talks with AMPTP. Not like the melded WGA West and WGA East committee doesn’t include some heavy-hitting scribes. There’s recently re-elected board members Billy Ray and David S. Goyer as well Damon Lindelof among the group. The committee will serve under WGAW Exec Director and Chief Negotiator David Young. The WGA’s latest contract is set to expire on May 1.

Related: AMPTP Respond To WGA West Plan To Go After Deadbeat Producers Read More »

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DGA Members Approve New Deal With Producers

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 10:20am PST

dgalogo__130425174010__131002211232-200x190__131023181458-150x150__131123183011__131218210512Yesterday my colleague Pete Hammond said there were “no surprises” in the DGA Awards Film nominees. Well, today the Directors Guild of America delivered even less of a shock as its members ratified the new three-year deal its negotiating committee reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers in late November (after you finish that yawn, read their release below). Same as three years ago, no specific numbers were given just that the approval was by an “overwhelming margin,” according to the DGA.  (UPDATE, 11 AM: As you would expect, AMPTP praised the ratification today, though with slightly ominous tones.“We are pleased that the DGA membership has ratified the new contracts. These new agreements will contribute to the stability of the industry by ensuring that feature film and television production - and the jobs dependent on it – can continue without interruption,” said the producers’ group in a statement Wednesday.)

The Guild sent out the new agreements to its 15,000 members on December 18, 2012. With its current deal ending on June 30, the DGA was the first of the guilds this time round to conclude a new Basic Agreement and the Freelance Live and Tape TV AMPTP-logo-post__120906011957-200x94__131123220229__131218211109Agreement with the studios and networks. While the WGA took the step to announce its negotiating committee on November 13, neither they nor SAG-AFTRA have set a start date for their respective talks with AMPTP. … Read More »

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