After less than a month of negotiations, the Association of Directors and leading Hollywood studios and streamers have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year employment contract.
Details of the agreement between the union and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) including salary and benefit increases, residual streaming, AI protections, etc. (Full details below. ) Union leaders will need to present what they see as contractual benefits and compromises to members in the coming days before members finally cast their votes on ratification. The ratification vote has been set for Tuesday.
The new deal comes after the DGA and AMPTP spent Saturday at the negotiating table.
“We have signed a truly historic agreement,” said Jon Avnet, chair of the DGA Negotiations Committee. “It provides significant improvements to every Director, Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager, Associate Director and Stage Director in our Association. During these negotiations, we made progress on wages, streaming balances, safety, creative rights, and diversity, and secured essential protections for businesses. our membership on important new issues such as artificial intelligence – ensuring DGA members will not be replaced by technological advancements. This agreement would not have been possible without the unanimity of the DGA members and we are grateful for the strong support of union members across the industry.”
“This agreement recognizes the future of our industry as global and respects the essential and unique role of directors and their teams as we move forward,” said Lesli Linka Glatter, President of DGA. that future. “As each new technology brings major change, this agreement ensures that each of the 19,000 members of the DGA can share in the success we all create together. The unprecedented benefits of this deal are a credit to the excellent work, perseverance and preparation of our Negotiation Committee. I am so proud of the extraordinary leadership and dedication of our Chair of Negotiations Jon Avnet, Co-Chairs Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland and our Chief Negotiator, Country Executive Russ Hollander and the Commission. Our Negotiation Committee consists of more than 80 members. I am also incredibly grateful to the staff of DGA, who have worked tirelessly over the past year and a half to achieve this amazing deal.”
The DGA began negotiations in an unusually serious tone on May 10. In addition to a writers strike that broke out before their leaders entered the room, the labor group warned 19,000 its members for months that this round of negotiations with studios and streamers would be difficult and had strayed from the usual practice of negotiating before the contract expired in the hope that doing so will give their negotiators more leverage. The union also seems to be preparing to mobilize its members quickly by forming an “outreach group” dedicated to handling internal communications and building solidarity.
“Every member of our union can be proud of the achievements we have made across the board,” said Russell Hollander, DGA Country Executive. “Significantly and for the first time, the remainder of the global SVOD will be paid out based on international registrants. The result was a 76% increase in foreign surplus for the largest services. As our industry becomes increasingly global, these benefits are imperative to ensure our members are appreciated and rewarded for their incredible work.”
One of DGA’s key efforts in these negotiations was to create a streaming rest that reflects the evolution of streaming platforms around the world. The union argues that the rest of Video Streaming on Demand (SVOD) is primarily based on North American platform subscriber numbers, while global subscriber counts count less, as users Employers pay a portion of the remainder in the country to compensate them.
The union is also looking to improve the transparency of data from studios and streamers, codify new safety and diversity, equity and inclusion measures, protect pension plans and union health, salary increases and support for contractual creative rights for members.
If the DGA makes significant strides in areas like streaming balances and/or data transparency, its deal could have some minor ramifications on the writers’ strike. take place. The Writers Guild of America went on strike May 2 after that strike, and AMPTP was unable to reach agreement on a range of issues including balances and data transparency. A DGA agreement can provide a framework for compromise on those specific points to the WGA. However, the second coalition largely has proposals (including many of its key requirements) on the table that do not have any overlap with those of the DGA and it is unlikely that the DGA’s progress in terms of Redundancy and data transparency will change the game for writers.
In a letter to members on June 1, the WGA reaffirmed its position that the AMPTP “will have to negotiate with the WGA on our full agenda” regardless of one of the agreements. whether the other association – ie the DGA – agrees to a new contract.
On Wednesday, May 31, as the directors entered their final week of negotiations, a coalition of unions including WGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters said in a statement that they ” stand with our brothers and sisters and relatives in the DGA in pursuit of a fair contract.” The group added: “As eyes around the world once again turn to the negotiating table, we send a clear message to AMPTP: Our solidarity cannot be underestimated. Hollywood associations and associations unite, and we stand.”
DGA country chief executive Russell Hollander led negotiations for the union, while AMPTP president Carol Lombardini led discussions for studios and streamers.
Here are the details of the new contract:
Salary and benefits: Breakthrough salary and benefits increases include 5% increases in the first year of the contract, 4% in the second and 3.5% in the third. Add 0.5% to fund a new parental leave allowance.
Global Streaming Residual: Dramatically increase the balance for dramatic shows made for SVOD by securing a new balance structure for foreign balance payments. As a result, foreign balances for the biggest platforms have increased by 76%, so the balance for an hour-long episode will now be around $90,000 over the first three exhibition years.
Artificial Intelligence: The Breakthrough Agreement confirms that AI is not human and that AI in general cannot replace tasks performed by members.
Non-Drama Programs: Established industry-first terms and conditions for directors and their teams of non-dramatic programs (Variety and Reality) for SVOD. The balance improves and for the first time, the Deputy Director and Stage Manager will share the balance.
High budget AVOD terms and conditions. Achieve industry-first terms, creative rights protection, working conditions, and the rest for scripted dramatic projects offered at no cost to consumer streaming services like Freevee, Tubi and Roku. Unit Production Managers and Assistant Managers will share the rest.
Film directors: First time compensation in history for months of “soft prep” Film directors are now performing for free before the official director’s prep period begins.
· Episode Directors: For Pay TV and SVOD, Episode Directors have earned extended paid post-production creative rights; and there’s an extra day of shooting guaranteed for hour-long shows – the first extra day added in over 40 years.
Reduced Hours: An unprecedented one-hour reduction in the Assistant Manager’s workday.
Safety: Specific safety advancements have been made including the first pilot program requiring the recruitment of dedicated safety supervisors; expanded safety training programs for both directors and their teams, and banned the use of live ammunition on set.