DGA, AMPTP negotiations set for the fall

DGA's Hackford, Cates release statement on formal talks

The DGA has agreed to begin formal negotiations with the AMPTP on new TV-theatrical contracts in mid-November, DGA president Taylor Hackford and negotiating chairman Gil Cates said Tuesday.

That timing coincides with the end of the initial negotiating window between the companies and SAG/AFTRA, from Oct. 1-Nov. 15. Many labor and industry watchers suspect that the early SAG/AFTRA bargaining is unlikely to lead to a contract resolution; that would again leave the DGA in the lead position for potentially laying down a template that its sister guilds, including the WGA, might be forced to mimic.

"As is our custom, we will engage with the AMPTP to clarify and narrow the issues before the beginning of formal negotiations," Hackford and Cates said in a statement. "We will use these discussions to confirm that both parties are committed to negotiating a fair agreement that will protect the economic and creative rights of DGA members while accomplishing the important objective of keeping our industry working in this challenging period.

"Following our traditional practice, the DGA began serious preparations for these negotiations well in advance of our contract expiration. In January, the National Board appointed Gil Cates as Negotiations Chair. Our consultants and research department have begun updating our business and revenue forecasts and assimilating the data collected in the last few years. Our councils, committees and staff have also begun their work to identify issues and prepare proposals.

"We wholeheartedly support SAG's and AFTRA's decision to move forward with joint negotiations and wish them every success when they begin their own negotiations with the AMPTP in October."

The DGA said that the guild's full negotiating committee will be appointed in June.
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