WGA and AMPTP Avert Strike with 11th Hour Deal

     May 2, 2017

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Talks between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) came down to the wire, but a strike was averted as both sides finally reached an agreement. As we previously explained, the talks largely revolved around two issues: fairly compensating writers in the age of Peak TV when television seasons are much shorter, and in providing better funding to writers’ healthcare needs.

The WGA released a statement [via Deadline] detailing their gains:

“We also made unprecedented gains on the issue of short seasons in television, winning a definition (which has never before existed in our MBA) of 2.4 weeks of work for each episodic fee. Any work beyond that span will now require additional payment for hundreds of writer-producers.

 

We won a 15% increase in Pay TV residuals, roughly $15 million in increases in High-Budget SVOD residuals, and, for the first time ever, residuals for comedy-variety writers in Pay TV.

 

And, also for the first time ever, job protection on Parental Leave.”

I’m overjoyed that not only was a strike averted, but that the WGA largely got what they wanted. If we’re going to celebrate shows like Westworld, Fargo, Better Call Saul, etc. then we need to fairly compensate the writers to who make those shows happen.

The deal now goes to the WGA West’s board and the WGA East’s council for approval, and then to the guilds’ members for ratification, but it seems like folks are pretty happy with what the negotiators were able to get, so expect the deal to go through.

It’s a big win for just about everyone. The studios weren’t really prepared for a strike, the writers don’t have to take out strike loans, and viewers get to keep enjoying quality content without interruption. This is why unions are important, and I’m glad that everything worked out even if it did have to come down to the deadline to make it happen.

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