WGA Contract Ratified With Overwhelming Approval in Membership Vote

Only 87 votes against the contract were counted

Last Updated: July 29, 2020 @ 12:56 PM

Writers Guild of America members have overwhelmingly approved their proposed contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, locking in the deal through May 1, 2023.

98% of votes received were in favor of the contract, with only 87 of the 4,155 votes received rejecting the plan. This is consistent with the last WGA contract vote in 2017, in which only 30 “no” votes were counted out of 3,647 total votes. The WGA West has approximately 10,000 members while WGA East has over 6,000.

“This year we faced a unique situation in negotiations because of COVID-19, but despite the challenges posed by the pandemic we achieved gains in a deal that will serve writers’ interests for the next three years,” stated WGAW President David A. Goodman and WGAE President Beau Willimon in a statement. “We could not have achieved that without a determined negotiating committee led by co-chairs Michele Mulroney, Shawn Ryan, and Betsy Thomas, committed member volunteers, and our professional WGA staff. We thank all writers who contributed to the process and participated in the ratification vote.”

The vote concludes a rocky negotiating cycle between the AMPTP and WGA that included a rescheduling of talks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and heated email exchanges. While the WGA was unable to achieve some of the extensive goals they hoped for, the new contract does include increases in streaming residuals, an immediate 1.5% increase in studio contributions to the WGA pension fund, and a new parental leave fund for all members who qualify for the guild’s health plan.

The ratification also comes two weeks after a surprising breakthrough deal between the guild and United Talent Agency which allows the agency to represent writers again in exchange for the phasing out of packaging fees, which the WGA has spent over a year fighting against in negotiations and in court.

The deal comes on the condition that at least one other major agency — WME, CAA or ICM Partners — agree to phase out packaging fees as well. No deal with any of those agencies has yet to be reached.