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WGA Committee Reaches 3-Year Contract Agreement

Oct 13, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The negotiating committee for the Writers Guild of America has reached a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and major broadcast networks, the guild announced Wednesday.

Writers have been without a contract since May 2. If ratified by WGA members, the new contract would last until Oct. 31, 2007.

The new contract agreement contains gains on health care, pension payments and contractual minimums, but failed to make gains on the hot-button issues of DVD residuals and unionizing reality television.

The agreement comes after the Directors Guild of America reached a quick agreement with the AMPTP that likewise did not include DVD gains. Also, the contract contained pay rollbacks for some, including television writers.

The guild said the contract represents a $58 million gain for writers, more than double the AMPTP’s “final offer” made in June.

“There is no question that this tentative agreement was heavily influenced by pattern bargaining, for good and ill,” said Daniel Petrie Jr., president of the WGA West. “While we are very pleased with the total dollar amount of the deal, which is equivalent to the DGA’s success, we are disappointed that our deal, like the DGA’s, contains no gains in DVDs. In the end, we felt that protecting the health benefits of writers and their families had to be our top priority, and continuing to pursue a DVD increase would mean putting those gains at risk.”