Nearly a month after DGA members ratified their new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers, the WGA today announced that it will sit down for their talks with the producers on February 3. The negotiations are set to take place at AMPTP HQ in Sherman Oaks. While the Writers Guild took the step to announce its negotiating committee on November 13, up to today, neither they nor SAG-AFTRA had set a start date for their respective talks with AMPTP. Not like the melded WGA West and WGA East committee doesn’t include some heavy-hitting scribes. There’s recently re-elected board members Billy Ray and David S. Goyer as well Damon Lindelof among the group. The committee will serve under WGAW Exec Director and Chief Negotiator David Young. The WGA’s latest contract is set to expire on May 1.
The talks next month come, as the Guild’s constitution requires, with a blueprint of a sort. Back in December, the WGA sent out a pattern of demands to its 12,000 members for approval heading into their expected talks with AMPTP. The non-binding demands coming six years after the strike that brought Hollywood to a halt, the latest demands emphasize a specific rise in compensation for basic cable plus increases in all other areas as well as greater residuals for shows on basic cable and pay TV and basic minimums for new media programming. In its first master contract negotiations since merging in mid-2012, SAG-AFTRA is expected to start its talks with the producers in late March/early April. SAG-AFTRA’s latest contract expires on June 30.