WGA Sets Its Pattern Of Demands For Looming Contract Talks: Here They Are

The WGA has issued its Pattern of Demands ahead of its negotiations with the AMPTP.

It comes after the union has requested that members vote on these before talks begin on March 20 and its contract expires on May 1.

The demands have been split into three main categories: Compensation and Residuals, Pension Plan and Health Fund and Professional Standards and Protection in the Employment of Writers.

Most of the topics are expected including higher minimum rates, the issue of mini-rooms, increased residuals and increase contributions to its pension fund.

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However, some of them are slightly unexpected to the wider industry including addressing the issue of AI, which has come to the fore with the rise of services such as ChatGPT, as well as applying minimums for late-night shows across streaming services.

Writers must vote by March 7.

Compensation and Residuals
– Increased minimum compensation significantly to address the devaluation of writing in all areas of television, new media and features
– Standardized compensation and residual terms for features whether released theatrically or on streaming
– Address the abuses of mini-rooms
– Ensure appropriate television series writing compensation throughout entire process of pre production, production and post production
– Expand span protections to cover all television writers
– Apply MBA minimums to comedy variety programs made for new media
– Increased residuals for under compensated reuse markets
– Restrict uncompensated use of excerpts

Pension Plan and Health Fund
– Increase contributions to pension plan and health fund

Professional Standards and Protection in the Employment of Writers
– For feature contracts in which compensation falls below a specified threshold, require weekly payment of compensation and a minimum of two steps
– Strengthen regulation of options and exclusivity in television writer employment contracts
– Regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies
– Enact measures to combat discrimination and harassment and to promote pay equity
– Revise and expand all arbitrator lists

It is, in fact, very similar to the WGA’s Pattern of Demands three years ago, which was also set out in the same three areas.

In 2020, the guild wanted to increase minimum compensation in all areas, expand made-for new media programs subject to MBA minimums, address issues for writing teams and inequities in compensation, enhance protections against uncompensated work and improve residuals for reuse markets.

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