WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson reviews the last twelve months and the Guild's substantial gains in both our core jurisdiction and in areas that have not historically been Guild-covered. Read the full May 2014 Executive Director's Report to Council and Members here.
A signatory company is an employer that has signed a collective bargaining agreement with WGA. Any company intending to employ a Guild member or option, or purchase literary material from a Guild member must become signatory to the Guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement. Signatory companies range from the industry’s biggest film studios to independent production companies, and broadcast networks to webisode production companies. Download the newly ratified 2014 MBA Signatory Application here.
We are pleased to announce that our joint memberships have ratified our new contract with the AMPTP by an overwhelming majority of 98.5 percent. The new three-year deal commences on May 2, 2014 and remains in effect until May 1, 2017. You can read the full press release here.
We achieved important gains in this agreement including 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, a doubling of the theatrical script publication fee, and a brand new provision limiting the options and exclusivity requirements often imposed on episodic television writers. If you’d like to see a summary of the new contract, click here.
Each negotiating cycle is marked by the hard work of the Negotiating Committee, member volunteers, and Guild staff. Our thanks go out to all of those who contributed to the process and to the members who participated in the ratification vote. We continue to build on the battles won by our predecessors and fight for the rights of generations to come.
A Conversation with Screenwriter Walter Bernstein
Something interesting happens when you ask people not about themselves but about something they care about. Host Randy Cohen – for twelve years writer of The Ethicist column in the NY Times – talks to his guests about a person, a place, and a thing they find meaningful. This time, that guest is screenwriter Walter Bernstein, celebrated for The Magnificent Seven, The Train, The Front, Semi-Tough, Fail Safe and many more. Click HERE for more information.
WGAE's "Drama & Deception in DC" panel, featuring Danny Strong, Joe Weisberg and Beau Willimon, is now available for download. Click here to visit the Guild on iTunes U.
by Lowell Peterson
The tentative deal under which Sony will stream some of Viacom's cable channels online demonstrates that regulators -- for example, the Federal Communications Commission -- need to rethink their approach to cable television. Click here to read more.
by Justin Samuels
Justin Samuels: Do you think the Internet has made it a lot easier for screenwriters to break in and find work?
Kraig Wenman: Absolutely, without the Internet, I wouldn’t’ve been able to make so many inroads in the industry. But like anything, it’s a tool within a larger toolbox.
The Writers Guild of America, East announced the 2014 nominees for its Council election. The term is for two years from 2014-2016. In this election, there are 10 open Council seats (seven Freelance seats and three Staff seats). WGAE members can vote in this Council election beginning Wednesday, August 27, through Thursday, September 18. The results will be announced on Friday, September 19. Click here to see the list of candidates.
The Writers Guild of America, East. in partnership with the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, presented a panel on "Writing Disabled Characters" on June 10. The panel was hosted by Tom Fontana (OZ, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET) and featured writers from THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW, LAW & ORDER and DRAGON TALES. You can watch video clips from the event here.
On June 19, Writers Guild of America, East's partners with The Walter Kaitz Foundation and The American Black Film Festival to present the HOLLYWOOD CREATIVE FORUM EAST. The program is meant to help build and promote diversity in television and film by generating a new and innovative program for its 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF). This inaugural program will provide critical information for diverse writers and writer/ producers to succeed in television and foster relationships between established showrunners and writing talent from the realm of film, television and theater. Learn more about the Hollywood Creative Forum East here.
The writer-producers employed by New York nonfiction TV production company Original Media (Ink Master, BBQ Pitmasters) will vote whether to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Ballots will be counted the second week of July. Read the full press release here.