The Writers Guild of America West and East have sent out a “Wish List” summation of their goals for the upcoming negotiations with the major studios. Here is the missive sent to membership:
To Our Fellow Members,
Approval of a Pattern of Demands is a constitutionally-required step as we prepare to negotiate a new Minimum Basic Agreement (the current contract expires on May 1, 2011). The Pattern does not detail specific proposals that will be made during negotiations but is designed to inform the memberships of our two Guilds of the general objectives we will pursue.
We are writing to ask for your support in the form of a YES vote in favor of the enclosed Pattern of Demands. This Pattern comes to you unanimously recommended by our Negotiating Committee and is presented for membership approval by the WGA West’s Board and the WGA East’s Council.
Your sacrifices during the last negotiation and the WGA’s 100-day strike led to historic advances in the areas of new media residuals and jurisdiction over writing for new media. While there is no such single galvanizing issue in the current negotiation cycle, this does not mean there is a lack of important objectives to be achieved in the upcoming negotiations. The new MBA must address the long term financial stability of the WGA Pension Plan and Health Fund, provide increases in our wages and improve working conditions. These objectives, and a number of others, are reflected in the enclosed Pattern.
The Pattern of Demands is the result of a continuing dialogue with our members conducted over the past three years. As a result of this process, we are confident that this Pattern will meet with your approval.
Please submit your ballot before January 24, 2010. Outreach meetings, e-mails, website postings and other communications will continue in the months ahead to further engage and mobilize writers.
Thank you for your attention to this first step in our negotiating process.
President, WGA West
President, WGA East
2011 Pattern of demands
COMPENSATION AND RESIDUALS
Increase minimum compensation in all areas.
Substantially increase upset price.
Add CW as a network.
Increase residuals for made for pay and made for basic cable programs.
Further address reuse in new media.
Increase home video residuals.
Increase funding for MBA compliance programs.
PENSION PLAN AND HEALTH FUND
Increase contributions to Pension Plan and Health Fund.
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND PROTECTIONS IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF WRITERS
Address problems in the employment process, such as “prewrites,” sweepstakes pitching and one-step deals.
Limit option periods for renewal of employment on episodic series.
Improve the communication process between the network/studio and writers in episodic television.
Amend definition of “professional writer” to include writing for new media.
Create and fund a Screenwriter Training Program.
Increase funding for the Showrunner Training Program.
Provide that separated rights include the use of a principal character in a musical or stage production.
Expand Guild coverage in other areas where WGA members can be employed, including motion capture, animation and videogames.
Establish minimums for certain ancillary uses of Appendix A programs.
Strengthen the requirements regarding employment guarantees for daytime writers.
Require unique project identifying codes, e.g., ISAn number, to be listed on notices of Tentative Writing Credits.
Expand arbitrator lists for grievance and arbitration.
Modify requirements for work lists and other information submitted by Companies.
Add credits schedule for theatrical documentaries.