Members of the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East have given their overwhelming approval to the Pattern of Demands for the 2011 Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and major television networks.
A total of 2,021 valid ballots were cast in Los Angeles and New York with 1,951 (97%) writers approving the pattern.
“Our thanks to those who voted so strongly in favor, affirming the relevance and importance of the issues outlined in our pattern of demands,” said WGAW President John Wells and WGAE President Michael Winship. “This overwhelming support from our joint membership is a powerful mandate for our negotiating committee as it moves forward toward the next MBA.”
Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during 2010. Winners will be honored at the 2011 Writers Guild Awards held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.
Black Swan, Screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin; Story by Andres Heinz; Fox Searchlight
The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Paramount Pictures
Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan; Warner Bros.
The Kids Are All Right, Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg; Focus Features
Please Give, Written by Nicole Holofcener; Sony Pictures Classics
127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy; Based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston; Fox Searchlight
I Love You Phillip Morris, Written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra; Based on the book by Steven McVicker; Roadside Attractions
The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich; Sony Pictures
The Town, Screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard; Based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan; Warner Bros.
True Grit, Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen; Based on the novel by Charles Portis; Paramount Pictures
Enemies of the People, Written, Directed, Filmed and Produced
The Writers Guild of America West and East have sent out a “Wish List” summation of their goals for the upcoming negotiations with the major studios. Here is the missive sent to membership:
To Our Fellow Members,
Approval of a Pattern of Demands is a constitutionally-required step as we prepare to negotiate a new Minimum Basic Agreement (the current contract expires on May 1, 2011). The Pattern does not detail specific proposals that will be made during negotiations but is designed to inform the memberships of our two Guilds of the general objectives we will pursue.
We are writing to ask for your support in the form of a YES vote in favor of the enclosed Pattern of Demands. This Pattern comes to you unanimously recommended by our Negotiating Committee and is presented for membership approval by the WGA West’s Board and the WGA East’s Council.
Your sacrifices during the last negotiation and the WGA’s 100-day strike led to historic advances in the areas of new media residuals and jurisdiction over writing for new media. While there is no such single galvanizing issue in the current negotiation cycle, this does not mean there is a lack of important objectives to be achieved in the upcoming negotiations. The new MBA must address the long term financial stability of the WGA Pension Plan and Health Fund, provide increases in our wages and improve working conditions. These objectives, and a number of others, are reflected in the enclosed Pattern.
The Pattern of Demands is the result of
Not so fast! Shortly after the L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti announced that the writers on shows for the Comcast Entertainment Networks have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a WGA representation, Comcast struck back, dismissing the vote as a “non-binding poll” and asking again for a NLRB-sanctioned election, which is a lengthy procedure.
Yesterday the WGAW conducted a non-binding poll with some of our employees purporting that it was an “election,” and this morning L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti announced the results. We want to make it very clear to our employees, the press and the interested public that union elections are governed by federal law, and overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, the government agency officially charged with such oversight for the past 75 years. This was not an NLRB-sanctioned election and has no binding effect. This non-binding poll was in direct conflict with the NLRB-sanctioned process for union organizing which ensures that all eligible employees are permitted to vote on such an important matter as union representation.
Comcast Entertainment Writers Voted Today Whether To Unionize And Join WGAW: Results Announced Wednesday
LA City Council President Eric Garcetti tomorrow will announce the results of a “secret ballot union representation election” conducted for writers on Comcast’s E!, Style, and G4 entertainment networks. The writers voted today whether to designate the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) as their bargaining rep. Garcetti’s office monitored the election and will tally and certify the results.
NEW YORK CITY and LOS ANGELES – Members of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West (WGAE and WGAW) employed at CBS News have ratified their new collective bargaining agreement soundly. The vote was: 83 % yes; 17% no. The three-year contract covers newswriters, writer/producers, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, and promotion writers working in television and radio on the national and local levels in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
The contract, which runs from April 2, 2010 through April 6, 2013, provides solid economic support for members. CBS News staff employees will now be eligible for the Writers Guild pension fund, and the Guilds negotiated minimums for writer-producers for the first time. The contract also establishes minimum representation percentages at local television shops for the first time, guaranteeing the Guilds have a meaningful presence at CBS News as the broadcast news business continues to transform.
In an era where non-guild employees face wage freezes, contract salary rates will actually increase 2% in January 2011 and another 2% in April 2012 under the new Guild contract. Freelance/per diem employees will receive two additional 1% increases over the contract term.
“We achieved our main goals of ensuring that the Guilds and our members have a solid future at CBS News and also realize economic gains. Getting members into the Guild pension plan is a major advance, and
Veteran Simpsons writer Mike Scully will receive the Writers Guild of America, West Animation Writers Caucus’ 13th annual Animation Writing Award, a lifetime achievement honor, which will be presented to him tonight at the AWC’s annual awards ceremony. “Whether penning episodes of The Simpsons, one of the most acclaimed, influential, and long-running series in TV history, or playing a key role in organizing the field of animation writing on behalf of the Guild, Mike’s contributions to both the craft and business of animation writing make him more than deserving of this award,” said WGAW president John Wells. Scully’s television writing credits include Parks and Recreation, Everybody Loves Raymond, Complete Savages and The Pitts. He also co-wrote The Simpsons Movie and is an executive producer of the upcoming Fox animated series Napoleon Dynamite. Previous AWC Writing Award honorees include Al Jean, Brad Bird, Michael Reiss, Linda Woolverton and Stan Berkowitz.
The WGA West just issued its first Contract Bulletin about the upcoming TV/Theatrical contract about to be negotiated with the AMPTP. Issues discussed include New Media and Pension & Health:
WGAW Member Meetings to Discuss Negotiations for the 2011 Contract
Please join President John Wells, Executive Director David Young, Negotiating Committee Co-Chairs John Bowman and Billy Ray, and members of the WGAW Board to discuss plans for the upcoming negotiations and potential priorities for contract demands. Members will have the chance to give input and pose questions to Guild leaders. Los Angeles area members can choose from three meeting opportunities:
Tuesday, November 9, 7:00 p.m. at the Sportsmen’s Lodge
4234 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City
Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 p.m. at the Loews Santa Monica
Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Thursday, Dec 2, 7:00 p.m. at the Writers Guild Theater
135 South Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills
Challenges for the Guild this Year
As hard as it may be to believe, we are now entering the final six months of the contract we negotiated to end our 2007 strike. With our contract expiring on May 1, 2011, your Board and staff have been working over the last year to identify the areas we believe will need to be addressed in our upcoming 2011 MBA negotiations. This process has involved months of staff effort, extensive surveys of our members in screen and television, and many hours of Board discussion.
LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has announced the results of its 2010 WGAW Board of Directors election. The following eight members were elected to the WGAW’s Board of Directors: Robin Schiff (754 votes), Katherine Fugate (749 votes), Aaron Mendelsohn (741 votes), David A. Goodman (740 votes), Kathy Kiernan (691 votes), Christopher Keyser (610 votes), David Shore (554 votes), Mark Gunn (519 votes).
Fugate, Goodman, Gunn, Kiernan, and Mendelsohn are incumbents. Board members will serve a two-year term, effective immediately.
Results for the nine remaining Board of Directors candidates were: Matthew Weiner (507 votes), Karen Harris (463 votes), Timothy J. Lea (376 votes), Cheryl Heuton (290 votes), Naomi Foner (273 votes), Mick Betancourt (257 votes), Erica Montolfo (143 votes), Erich Hoeber (132 votes), Matt Pyken (111 votes). (Note: Steve Skrovan withdrew his candidacy after the final slate of WGAW BOD candidates was previously announced in July.)
A total of 1,273 valid ballots were cast. The ballot count was supervised by Robbin Johnson of Pacific Election Services, Inc., an independent firm.
Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced that the 2011 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York to honor outstanding writing in film, television, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation awards categories. Here’s the 2010-2011 timeline:
There are 18 candidates nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors, as follows: Robin Schiff, David Shore, David A. Goodman (inc.), Cheryl Heuton, Aaron Mendelsohn (inc.), Katherine Fugate (inc.), Timothy J. Lea, Mick Betancourt, Mark Gunn (inc.), Erich Hoeber, Erica Montolfo, Matt Pyken, Naomi Foner, Karen Harris (inc.), Kathy Kiernan (inc.), Christopher Keyser, Steve Skrovan, Matthew Weiner.
Note to editors: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; (inc.) denotes an incumbent candidate.
The WGAW will host its annual “Candidates Night” town-hall forum, at which Guild members may meet the candidates and get answers to their questions, on Tuesday, September 7, at WGAW headquarters in Los Angeles.
Guild members will receive candidate, non-candidate and rebuttal statements, if any, with their ballots prior to the election. Candidates may also mail additional campaign materials at their own expense. Members may vote by mail or in person at the WGAW’s annual membership meeting on Thursday, September 16. Ballots will be counted on Friday, September 17.