Members of the WGA West are being asked to approve three amendments to the guild’s constitution to make it easier for members to run for guild office, and that once elected, for officers and board members to remain in office longer. If approved, the guild would no longer hold elections every year, but every other year, beginning in 2021.
The proposed amendments, which have been approved by the guild’s board of directors, are designed “to make the guild’s election process more compatible with the actual work of union governance,” WGA West president Howard Rodman said in a notice sent to the guild’s members today.
The first of the proposed amendments would lengthen the terms of office for elected officials from the current two years to three years. It would also change the number of consecutive terms elected officials could serve.
Currently, officers have to step down after serving two consecutive two-year terms. Under the proposed amendment, they would be allowed to serve two consecutive three-year terms. Thus, they could remain in office for as long as six years instead of four. Board members, meanwhile, currently must step down after serving four consecutive two-year terms. Under the proposed amendment, they could serve three consecutive three-year terms – nine years instead of eight.
The amendment would also take guild politics out of contract negotiations by making sure that no elections are held in years when the guild’s three-year film and TV contract is negotiated.
The second amendment would reduce the number of board candidates the guild’s nominating committee is required to nominate during each election. Currently, the nominating committee is required to nominate two candidates for each open board seat – normally a total of 16 candidates. This amendment would allow the committee to nominate as few as 12. A booklet sent to guild members says that this amendment “addresses the difficulty experienced by recent board nominating committees of recruiting nominees to run in a large field of candidates.”
The third amendment would reduce the number of supporting signatures that a candidate needs to be nominated by petition. Petition candidates seeking to run for officer posts would need only 25 signatures instead of 50, and only 15 signatures instead of 25 to run by petition for the board. Ballots will counted on May 3.