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DGA Approves Contract: Health Plan Gains, Travel Loss

Deal looks an awful lot like the one SAG/AFTRA conceded to last month; i.e., say goodbye to first-class seats to Vancouver

The Directors Guild of America national board has unanimously approved a new three-year theatrical/TV deal, carved out earlier in the week with Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers.

The tentative agreement — which is still pending DGA member ratification — increases health-plan compensation from 8.5 percent to 10 percent.

The contract also calls for minimum yearly wage increases of 2 percent — in line with the AMPTP's recent agreements with the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of TV Artists.

Also keeping in line with concessions made previosly by SAG/AFTRA, the DGA agreed to the same travel modifications made by the two talent guilds.

That means no more first-class flights to Vancouver.

Other parts of the new deal, which replaces the current contract that expires June 30, include:

>> A new higher compensation tier will be established for DGA directors working on high-budget basic cable dramatic programming.

>> Unit production managers, assistant directors, associate driectors and stage managers will receive mandatory safety training.

>> Associate directors on multi-camera prime-time dramatic series will receive a proportionate share of residuals for the first time.

"I'm truly pleased with this new contract," said Gil Cates, chairman of the DGA's negotiations committee.

"Between the health plan gains and the establishment of a new tier in basic cable, this was an excellent result for both our directrors and our members who work as part of the directorial team," he added.