WGAW Prepares for Next Year’s Minimum Basic Agreement Negotiations

by TVWriter™ Press Service

A letter to the membership from the Honchos-In-Charge.

December 10, 2019
Dear Members,

As we head toward the holidays, we wanted to give you a brief update about 2020 MBA negotiation preparation.

First, thanks to those of you who responded to the MBA bargaining survey. The Negotiating Committee is meeting tonight and will review the preliminary results. In January, the membership will have the opportunity to vote on a Pattern of Demands, and following that, member meetings will be convened for the Committee to lay out initial proposals and get feedback.

Overall employment trends for WGAW members provide context for our upcoming negotiations. Feature employment is approaching the high levels of 20 years ago, with about a thousand screenwriters reporting over $100 million in earnings each quarter. This level of employment and earnings has been sustained for two years now, a change from the period in 2012-14 when quarterly employment in features was typically around 700 writers. Television employment remains at its highest level in history: there have been more than 4,500 members working in TV for the last five years and counting, now approaching 5,000, with more than 350 scripted series in production for each of the last three seasons.

While record numbers of members are currently employed, individual writer compensation is not where it should be, with too many members working at or close to minimum. Our MBA focus must be to ensure that writers are being fairly compensated for the global value of the content that has continued to bring banner profits to our employers, and that our benefit plans remain healthy.

We look forward to working with you in the new year.

In Solidarity,

David A. Goodman, President
Marjorie David, Vice President
Michele Mulroney, Secretary-Treasurer