The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is a labor union that represents writers in the entertainment industry, including television, film, and digital media. Every few years, they negotiate a new contract with the major entertainment companies, which outlines the terms of employment for thousands of writers.
The last WGA contract was negotiated in 2017, and it expired on May 1st, 2020. Negotiations for a new contract began in March of that year, but were complicated by the pandemic and the shutdown of the entertainment industry.
Despite the challenges, the WGA was able to reach a new agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in July of 2020. Here are some of the key provisions of the new contract:
– Increases in minimum compensation: The new contract includes increases in the minimum compensation rates for writers across all platforms. These increases range from 2% to 5% for most writers, with larger increases for those making less than $50,000 per year.
– Increased residuals for streaming: With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the WGA was able to negotiate higher residuals for writers whose work is streamed on these platforms. The new contract includes a 15% increase in residuals for high-budget streaming shows, and a 25% increase in residuals for low-budget streaming shows.
– Improved diversity initiatives: The WGA has been vocal about the need for greater diversity in the entertainment industry, and the new contract includes several provisions aimed at improving diversity. These include the creation of a diversity database to track hiring practices, the establishment of a diversity committee to oversee these efforts, and incentives for studios to hire underrepresented writers.
– Expanded parental leave: The new contract includes an expansion of parental leave for both mothers and fathers, allowing them to take up to 14 weeks of leave within the first year of a child`s birth or adoption.
Overall, the new WGA contract represents a significant win for writers in the entertainment industry. With increased compensation, better residuals for streaming, and improved diversity initiatives, writers can feel more secure in their employment and be better compensated for their work.