What will it be? Peaceful negotiation or war? What will our champions at the Writers Guild of America (both West and East versions) be negotiating – or battling – for?
January 20, 2017
Dear Fellow Writers,
On May 1st the current Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) covering most WGA writing expires. The Negotiating Committee has set goals for our upcoming bargaining sessions with the AMPTP. Now we need to make sure the membership understands and agrees with our agenda and approach.
Let’s lay out the context. The 49 billion dollar annual operating profit accumulated by the six major media companies with whom we will be negotiating is double what their profit numbers were only a decade ago.
Contrast that with the economic picture facing the members of our Guilds, whose average incomes in both features and series TV have actually decreased over that same decade. You’ve told Guild leadership in meetings and surveys that new models of development, production, and distribution – while making the companies richer – have not worked to your individual or collective advantage.
And contrast the companies’ prosperity with the state of our Health Plan which, due to rapid inflation in health care costs nationwide, has run deficits for all but one of the past four years, forcing a dip into long-untouched reserves. Getting our fair share will require resolve and solidarity and the willingness to fight if necessary. But in a time of unprecedented profits for our industry, we believe it is our due.
Now we need to know where you stand.
You will soon receive an invitation to participate in one of a series of outreach meetings the WGAW and WGAE will convene over the next six weeks. These are critical meetings as we prepare to negotiate with the companies.
We thank you for your support, and look forward to hearing from you over the coming weeks.
WGA Negotiating Committee
Chip Johannessen, Co-Chair
Chris Keyser, Co-Chair
Billy Ray, Co-Chair
Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
Howard Michael Gould
Patric M. Verrone
Howard A. Rodman, WGAW President, ex-officio
Michael Winship, WGAE President, ex-officio
David A. Goodman, WGAW Vice President, ex-officio
Jeremy Pikser, WGAE Vice President, ex-officio
Aaron Mendelsohn, WGAW Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio
Bob Schneider, WGAE Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio