The membership of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) have voted overwhelmingly to approve joint standards for voting on our MBA and other national matters. The vote on amendments to the respective unions’ bylaws was 96% yes with 1,720 votes yes and 67 votes no. The vote was conducted via mail and at membership meetings held in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 16.
The vote affirmed the basic principle that members who have more of a stake in a particular contract should vote on that contract or on a strike authorization in connection with that contract. The central provisions are:
§ To vote on a contract a member must either have earned a total of at least $30,000 under the contract in the preceding six years or have at least 15 pension years under the contract, but they do not have to be consecutive years. Once a person has 15 pension years, he or she remains eligible indefinitely.
§ Each Guild will have at least four representatives of the 17 members of the national bargaining committee formed from both Guilds. In the past, the WGAE has been represented by two or three members.
§ Voting eligibility for individual Guild elections and other matters subject to membership vote remain unchanged. All WGAE members remain eligible to vote in elections of East officers and Council members and on all East-only matters.
§ Voting eligibility for staff members (WGA members working under staff news contracts) remain unchanged.
The new voting standards were developed by the Guilds as a follow-up to the agreement negotiated by the WGAE and WGAW in 2005 that has become known as the “San Francisco Accords.”