December 2, 2023

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The Writers Union approves its new contract with Hollywood and television studios

The Writers Union approves its new contract with Hollywood and television studios

Gennaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

WGA members hand over their signs at the end of their first day of strike in front of Paramount Studios in Hollywood on May 2, 2023.



CNN

Writers Guild of America members have ratified a new contract with Hollywood and television studios, the Writers Guild of America said in a statement Monday.

Of the 8,525 valid votes cast, 99% of WGA members voted to ratify the new contract, which will run from September 25, 2023, until May 1, 2026, the statement said.

“Through solidarity and determination, we have ratified a contract that provides meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of our participating membership,” said WGA West President Meredith Stemm. “Together we have achieved what many said was impossible just six months ago.”

WGA East President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen said the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance now needs to negotiate a fair contract with SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, which has been on strike since July.

“Until the studios reach an agreement that meets the needs of performers, WGA members will remain on the picket lines, marching shoulder to shoulder with SAG-AFTRA in solidarity,” she said.

AMPTP said in a statement that the new contract represents “meaningful gains” for Hollywood writers.

“AMPTP member companies congratulate the WGA on the ratification of its new contract, which represents meaningful gains and protections for writers. It is an important advance for our industry to have writers back in the business,” the organization said.

As part of the deal, the minimum wages for most writers will increase by 5% immediately, another 4% in May 2024, then another 3.5% in May 2025. Health Fund contributions will increase by half a percentage point to 12% of companies’ reported profits. . Writers working on the same script will no longer need to split retirement and health contributions.

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Some writers were concerned about the growth of streaming, because they lost the surplus that traditional TV shows paid in reruns. Initial compensation and residual wages for large-budget broadcast projects will be increased as part of the new contract.

The deal also includes assurances that AI cannot write or rewrite literary material and will require disclosure of AI-generated material to writers.

Streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Max, have also pledged to increase transparency around the number of hours certain programs can be streamed.

The ratification of a new labor contract between the WGA and Hollywood’s largest studios officially closes the chapter on one of the longest strikes in the union’s history. The writers’ strike began in May It ended last month – After 148 days – After an initial contract agreement concluded between the union and AMPTP.

The writers’ strike, coupled with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike, has crippled the entertainment industry’s ability to do business over the past few months. This was the first time SAG-AFTRA and the WGA had gone on strike together since 1960.