WGA Strike Ends: A Hard-Fought Victory

Read the details of the new WGA deal.

After 146 days, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has agreed on the 2023 MBA (Minimum Basic Agreement). This marks the end of the strike that halted the entertainment industry. This milestone proves the power of unity and the strength of the WGA members.

What this agreement represents.

It consisted of countless hours of negotiation, sacrifice, and the unbreakable solidarity of the writers. Since the strike began on May 2, the WGA members have stood side by side. They showed their commitment to fair and just terms for their creative work. The strike displayed their determination and drew huge support from fellow unions, further boosting their bargaining power.

Details of the Deal.

The WGA encourages its members to join SAG-AFTRA picket lines in solidarity. This agreement below was achieved through unity and determination and promised significant gains for writers.

  • 1. Term of Agreement
    The agreement spans from September 25, 2023, through May 1, 2026, giving writers a stable foundation for their work over the coming years.
  • 2. Minimum Increases
    Most MBA minimums will see a 5% increase upon ratification, with another rise of 4% on May 2, 2024, and 3.5% on May 2, 2025. These raises aim to reflect the evolving industry standards.
  • 3. Health and Pension Contribution
    Contributions to the Health Fund will increase by 0.5% in the second year of the agreement, rising from 11.5% to 12%. There’s also the option to divert an extra 0.5% in the second and third years to either the Health Fund or Pension Plan.
  • 4. Artificial Intelligence
    The agreement covers the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in content creation. It states that AI cannot write or rewrite literary material, protecting writers’ credits and rights. Writers can use AI, but must be voluntary and with company consent.
  • 5. Improved Terms for Screenwriter Employment
    The agreement introduces guarantees for second steps and an accelerated payment structure for flat deals, benefiting screenwriters. For streaming features with a budget of $30 million or more, initial compensation increases by 18%, accompanied by a 26% boost in the residual base.
  • 6. High Budget Subscription Video on Demand (HBSVOD)
    Writers for HBSVOD platforms will see significant changes, including increased foreign streaming residuals, viewership-based streaming bonuses, and streaming data transparency.
  • 7. Minimum Terms for Advertising-Supported Streaming (AVOD)
    High-budget programs for ad-supported streaming services will enjoy similar initial compensation terms as subscription streaming services, along with span protections and a 2% residual for reuse.
  • 8. Increased Compensation for Series Employment
    Minimum weekly rates for staff writers and story editors/executive story editors will increase, offering better compensation. A new writer-producer tier will be established with higher minimum weekly rates.
  • 9. Staffing and Duration Provisions for Episodic Series
    New provisions will require a minimum number of writers and guarantee their time of employment in development rooms and writers’ rooms for television and HBSVOD series.
  • 10. Options, Exclusivity, and Span Protections
    The agreement raises the salary limit for options and exclusivity protections and expands span protections to cover more writers on short orders and limited series.
  • 11. Appendix A Series
    Comedy-Variety, Quiz, and audience, or Other Non-Dramatic programs with budgets above certain thresholds. They will have better compensation and residuals, bringing them in line with television programs.
  • 12. Showrunner Training Program
    The renewal of funding for the Showrunner Training Program ensures a continuous pipeline of talent in the industry.
  • 13. Additional Arbitrators and Tri-Guild Audit Program
    Changes in the panel of arbitrators and continued funding for the Tri-Guild audit program enhance dispute solutions and ensure fair residual payments.
  • 14. Other Changes
    Several other changes will improve writers’ working conditions, such as increased promotional runs for broadcast series, a theatrical exhibition of HBSVOD programs, and adjustments to residual thresholds.

The WGA’s leaders and its members have secured significant gains in this new agreement, reflecting the evolving landscape of the entertainment industry. Read more News on Nerdtropolis and make sure to subscribe to our Channel.

Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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