The DGA has reached a tentative agreement with ABC, CBS and NBC on a new three-year network staff contract covering staffers and freelancers employed in news, sports and operations at the networks and at several of their owned local TV stations.
The contract doesn’t cover Fox because unlike the other major networks, it doesn’t have a national network news operation – only local newscasts and Fox News on cable. The guild has a separate agreement with Fox for its sports shows.
The new deal, which received unanimous support from the DGA’s board of directors Saturday, now goes to the guild’s members for final ratification. It includes a 2% pay raise in the first year of the pact, and 2.5% wage increases in each of the last two years of the contract, for a compounded wage increase of 7.2% over the term of the agreement.
The deal also calls for a 0.5% increase in employer contributions to the guild’s pension plan, and in the second and third years gives the guild the right to divert 0.5% of the negotiated wage increase to either the DGA pension plan or the health plan.
The new contract also contains provisions to address opportunities for DGA members to work on new-media projects and assignments, and provisions that address various concerns of local station directors relating to jurisdiction, long hours and compensation.
The guild’s current contract with the networks doesn’t expire until June 30, 2017. If ratified, the new contract will run from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020. The network staff contract, it should be noted, is separate from the guild’s three-year film and TV contract, for which negotiations will begin in early December.
“In an environment in which local stations, sports and news operations face ever-increasing pressures, it is a testament to both the skill of the negotiations committee and to the high value that our members continue to bring to news, sports and operations that the committee was able to negotiate this agreement,” said DGA president Paris Barclay.
Russell Hollander, the guild’s associate national executive director, said that the guild’s negotiating committee “successfully fended off a number of proposals that would have lessened the strength and quality of this agreement, while defending previous gains. They achieved a strong and impactful agreement with real improvements that will stand our members in good stead for years to come.”
“With the support and assistance of Guild staff behind us every step of the way, we achieved our goals and were able to conclude an agreement that we can all be very proud of,” said John LiBretto, who chaired the guild’s negotiating committee.