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WGA Boards Approve New Film, TV Contract

The new contract proposal now goes to full membership for ratification

The boards of WGA West and East have approved a new film and TV contact, leaving just the need for the guild members’ ratification, which is expected.

The development led to jubilation at the guild meetings in both Los Angeles and New York Thursday night, plus praise for chief negotiator David Lloyd.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Writers Guilds of America, West and East and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers concluded negotiations and reached a tentative agreement on terms for a new three-year collective bargaining agreement after zero-hour negotiations.

The previous contract between writers and producers expired at midnight on May 1, but both sides agreed to a 10-minute extension to hammer out the details, including an increase in AMPTP contributions to the WGA’s health care plans and a 15 percent bump in pay TV residuals.

The WGA also made gains on the fraught issue of “span” — shorthand for the length of time writers work for what they’re paid. Writers on television are usually paid per episode, even if a short order series requires the same amount of time, or similar, to complete as a traditional season length.

Writers will now be paid their per-episode fee for every 2.4 weeks of work, with any work beyond that timeframe requiring additional compensation.

In a letter to members on Tuesday, the guild estimated that the contract will lead to $130 million in gains overall.

Despite the avoidance of a strike, the WGA sent out a letter early Tuesday stating that while the WGA certainly did not get everything the writers wanted or deserved, the work was done.

Deadline was first to report the WGA boards’ new film and TV contract approval.

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