Start Of WGA Contract Talks With AMPTP Delayed Until May 18

The WGA and the AMPTP have delayed the start of their contract negotiations by a week. Their talks for a new film and TV deal, which had been set to start next week, will now begin on May 18. No reason was given for the delay, but scheduling is believed to be the main issue. The AMPTP is also in the midst of negotiating a new contract with SAG-AFTRA.

The WGA’s current pact had been set to expire on May 1, but after considerable wrangling, it agreed to the AMPTP’s offer to extend the contract until June 30. On April 30, the guild told its members, “Due to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WGA and the AMPTP have agreed to extend the 2017 WGA Minimum Basic Agreement expiration date from May 1 to June 30, 2020. Therefore, writers will continue to be covered by the current contractual terms through the end of June. The WGA Negotiating Committee will be meeting via video conference with the AMPTP starting the week of May 11th to negotiate a successor MBA contract.

“Our entire committee remains committed to gaining the best possible deal for writers. Thank you for your encouragement and support as we have prepared for this negotiation. Communication from the committee may be limited during the course of negotiations, but we will update you when there are any significant developments.”

The pattern of demands approved by WGA members in February includes:
• Increase minimum compensation in all areas.
• Expand made-for new media programs subject to MBA minimums.
• Address issues for writing teams.
• Address inequities in compensation.
• Enhance protections against uncompensated work.
• Improve residuals for reuse markets.
• Increase contributions to the Pension Plan and Health Fund.
• Strengthen protections for screenwriters.
• Strengthen protections for comedy-variety writers.
• Strengthen protections for writers employed and compensated on per episode basis.
• Provide for paid family leave for writers.
• Enact anti-discrimination measures, including the prevention of harassment and promotion of pay equity.

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