DGA Negotiations to Begin May 10, After WGA Contract Ends

According to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the Directors Guild of America will begin negotiations for a new contract in May 10.

The DGA previously stated that it would wait until “later this spring” to conduct bargaining on a new contract, saying that the studios were “not yet prepared to address our key issues.” The current contract expires on June 30.

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Ten days after the Writers Guild of America contract expires, talks will start. There is a possibility that the WGA could go on strike. WGA talks are scheduled to start on March 20.

Both guilds indicate that they expect a challenging round of bargaining due to streaming taking a larger share of reuse market. The guilds claim that streaming platforms do not provide enough residuals to their members, as compared with traditional residuals on cable and broadcast.

At the Writers Guild of America awards Sunday night, WGA West president Meredith Stiehm said it is time for a “sea change” in writers’ compensation structures.

While observers have been watching the WGA closely in anticipation of the first strike since 2007-08, the DGA has also indicated that it is “prepared for a fight.”

“This will not be an ordinary negotiation,” the union’s leadership said in November. “These negotiations will shape the future of our industry.”

The DGA is often the first to go and is more straightforward for studios than the WGA. The DGA will often announce a new 3-year agreement far in advance of the expiration of the current agreement. It has been deliberately attacking the WGA and cutting it closer toward the deadline to suggest that the guild will take a more aggressive line.

SAG-AFTRA’s contract also expires at June 30. The dates for the SAG-AFTRA contract’s bargaining have not been established.

Below is the full email sent Monday to DGA members.

Dear Members

Our major contracts expire on June 30. We have a legal obligation and contractual obligation to negotiate in good faith before that deadline. We intend to keep that promise. As such, the AMPTP We have agreed to start negotiations on May 10,

As we press forward on your core issues — wages, streaming residuals, health and pension plans, creative rights, diversity and safety — we will continue to be led by our Negotiating Committee, made up of more than 80 members from all categories, genres, and geographic areas. We will remain focused on achieving fair contracts that allow you to be part of the global growth of this sector and distribution of your work worldwide.

We have spent more than a year and half preparing, listening, researching, and consulting with industry professionals to ensure that we achieve our goals. We reach strong contracts with your participation and your voice at table through our strategic bargaining process.

We are creating a DGA Outreach Team, which is made up DGA members from across the entire membership. The Outreach Team’s purpose is to:

– Provide communication to each of you about negotiations
– Support increased member engagement and awareness around our contract issues and demands
– Communicate with you about member meetings, virtual and in-person activities and mobilization
– Answer your questions in real time about the issues or the process.

If you are interested in learning more about the Outreach Team or how you could be involved, please contact [email protected].

The story of our industry’s evolution is one about technological change. It is the same today. The DGA has always protected our members’ future by anticipating where the industry is going, where future growth will take place and negotiating agreements that reap benefits now and more significantly, in the future. Today, this means addressing the impact of vertical integration and Company self-dealing as well as the Studios’ increasingly international focus.

We are committed to negotiating a contract that treats our members fairly and with respect while defending the future of this industry – a future we will all build together. The DGA knows how to win, and — with your help — we will win again.

Jon Avnet (Negotiations chair), Karen Gaviola [Negotiations co-chair], Todd Holland (Negotiations co-chair) and Russ Hollander (“National executive director”)

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