WGAW Update re Minimum Basic Agreement Negotiation

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Here’s an important letter to the membership from the WGAW Honchos-In-Charge.

Why is this important?

Because over the long run, what happens in these negotiations will affect all those who write, or want to write, for TV whether they/you/we are members or not.

April 17, 2020
Dear Members,

The Guild is confronting many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps the most significant is how best to renegotiate our MBA, which is set to expire on May 1st. The planned March 23rd date to begin bargaining with the AMPTP had to be scuttled upon the order to shelter at home. In mid-March, our committee began meeting virtually to deliberate how best to move forward under these unique and rapidly-evolving circumstances.

We have now determined the best course of action is to propose extending the MBA expiration date to June 30, 2020. On Wednesday, we proposed that extension to the AMPTP, along with dates in May to exchange bargaining proposals and begin negotiations. The extension would give writers two more months to work under the protections of the current agreement, and time for the committee to finalize our proposals and bargain via video conference with the AMPTP. June 30th would also give us ten more weeks to better understand how the pandemic and government policies will continue to impact writers and the industry.

Even in the midst of these unprecedented circumstances, our committee remains determined to fight for writers’ long-term and short-term interests in this negotiation. The crisis has increased our resolve to advance the bargaining goals we’d already set, including gaining additional contributions to our benefit plans and fair compensation and residuals for streaming.

On a related matter, Guild leadership has heard from members concerned about continuing health care coverage during this disruption. Therefore, as part of the lead-up to the negotiation, the Guild has asked the AMPTP Health Fund trustees to agree with us to adopt an extension of eligibility to plan participants who would otherwise lose coverage between now and the end of the year. The details of any extension would be determined by the trustees, who are 50% AMPTP and 50% WGA.

We have not yet heard back from the AMPTP about our proposals.

We will be back in touch in the near future. In the meantime, you can communicate with us about negotiations at MBA2020@wga.org or through your captain.

In solidarity,

WGA MBA Negotiating Committee

Michele Mulroney, Co-Chair
Shawn Ryan, Co-Chair
Betsy Thomas, Co-Chair

Liz Alper
Arash Amel
John August
Amy Berg
Ashley Nicole Black
Adam Brooks
Francesca Butler
Patti Carr
Robb Chavis
Meg DeLoatch
Travis Donnelly
Kate Erickson
Dante W. Harper
Eric Heisserer
Melissa London Hilfers
Elliott Kalan
Chris Keyser
Adele Lim
Peter Murrieta
Luvh Rakhe
Dailyn Rodriguez
Erica Saleh
Sara Schaeffer
David Slack
Lauren Ashley Smith
Meredith Stiehm
Patric M. Verrone

David A. Goodman, Ex-Officio
Marjorie David, Ex-Officio
Beau Willimon, Ex-Officio
Kathy McGee, Ex-Officio
Bob Schneider, Ex-Officio