The Directors Guild already is gearing up for its next round of film and TV contract negotiations, even though its current three-year pact doesn’t expire until June 30, 2020. At the DGA’s recent board meeting, directors Jon Avnet and Todd Holland were appointed co-chairs of the guild’s negotiating committee. Russ Hollander, the DGA’s national executive director, will serve as the guild’s chief negotiator.
“As an important part of our preparation for the next round of negotiations, we have asked two of our experienced feature and television standard-bearers to lead our negotiations and serve as co-chairs,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “Jon and Todd have accepted, and are eager to take on, the next chapter of their considerable Guild service. We are fortunate to have the benefit of their experience, industry know-how and negotiating acumen.”
Said Avnet: “We don’t yet know when we’ll begin our negotiations, but we’re preparing well in advance as we always do – through extensive research and engaging with our members and staff to determine key priorities. We will be ready when the time is right.”
Added Holland: “We are focused on our core mission: the protection and advancement of the creative and economic rights of our members. Working alongside our Negotiations Committee members, our Creative Rights Committee, and the guild’s professional staff – we’ll be ready to ensure the best outcome for our members.”
Every three years, the DGA is the first of Hollywood’s guilds and unions to go into negotiations with management’s AMPTP, setting the pattern of bargaining for all the other unions to follow. The DGA usually wraps up its talks well in advance of the expiration of its contract to remove the uncertainty and production delays that can come when negotiations go down to the wire. The likelihood of a DGA strike next year, however, is slim. The industry’s most powerful union has resorted to a strike only once in its 83-year history – and that 1987 walkout lasted only 15 minutes on the West Coast and three hours longer back East.
The DGA said it will appoint its full negotiations committees — made up of directors, assistant directors, unit production managers, associate directors and stage managers working in all genres — later this year.