Yesterday, we reported the Writers Guild of America Negotiating Committee unanimously approved a tentative agreement with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for the 2020-2023 Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA). The Negotiating Committee, which includes WGA(w) President David A. Goodman, Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and East President Beau Willimon, is recommending a ratification vote later this month.
The WGA emailed its members Wednesday, disclosing details of the new three-year TV/theatrical deal.
Many of the new terms track with those recently negotiated by other guilds such as the DGA and SAG-AFTRA, including increases in SVOD residuals, the lowering of SVOD budget breaks, and elimination of almost all SVOD grandfathering as well as rollbacks, including syndication residuals.
In addition the committee was able to achieve several writer-specific gains:
- The writer training and new writer discounts that undercut screen and television minimums and disproportionately impacted underrepresented groups have been eliminated.
- A new paid parental leave fund available to all writers who qualify for health benefits from the PWGA health plan was established, with benefits beginning in May 2021. The benefit will be entirely funded by an employer contribution of .5% on writers’ earnings.
- The pension fund will receive an immediate 1.5% contribution increase to 10%, with the ability to divert an additional 1.25% from minimums, if needed, over the final two years of the contract. This increased funding of our pension plan, totaling 2.75% over the term of the contract, was a vital goal of this negotiation and sets our plan on a much firmer foundation.
- Improved protections for television writers in the area of options and exclusivity, including specific limitations on options after short periods of employment, and expanded the number of writers covered by the span protections first negotiated in 2017.
The email went on to explain that the advent of COVID-19 pandemic limited some of the negotiations. “Although the ongoing global pandemic and economic uncertainty limited our ability to exercise real collective power to achieve many other important and necessary contract goals, we remain committed to pursuing those goals in future negotiations. “
Upon ratification, the agreement and the minimum increases would be retroactive to May 2, 2020 and would expire on May 1, 2023.
SOURCE: Writers Guild of America