Writers Guild, producers avert strike

WGA, West, and its East Coast affiliate, Wednesday ratified a three-year contract with TV and movie producers.

The Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement early Tuesday on a new three-year contract with the major film and TV studios.

“We’re thrilled that the cameras will continue to roll and productions will go on uninterrupted,” said Evan Thomason, who heads the Santa Clarita Film Office.

The guild last went on strike in 2007-2008, when its 12,000 members engaged in 100-day work stoppage. That strike cost the Los Angeles economy $2.1 billion, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.’s economist at the time, Jack Kyser.

The union’s negotiating committee recommended passage of the agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The agreement addresses the issue of short seasons in television, which have become increasingly common with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

The agreement newly defines a writer’s fee as 2.4 weeks of work per episode.

“Any work beyond that span will now require additional payment for hundreds of writer-producers,” according to the letter from committee co-chairs Chip Johannessen, Chris Keyser, and Billy Ray.

The agreement includes additional contributions to the union’s health plan, a 15 percent increase in pay TV residuals, and a $15 million-increase in residuals for high-budget streaming video on demand productions.

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