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DGA Overwhelmingly Ratifies New Contract

Paris Barclay - P 2013
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment
Paris Barclay

The agreement contains an array of increases to wages and residuals.

Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay on Wednesday announced that the DGA membership has voted by an overwhelming margin to ratify the new collective bargaining agreements between the DGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

"With this vote, the DGA membership has decisively demonstrated its support for the new contract," said Barclay. "This negotiation was about laying the groundwork to protect our future in a meaningful way, and the result is a strong and forward-looking agreement with substantial gains for our members. I am very proud of what our Negotiations Committee and the professional staff of the DGA have accomplished."

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As is customary, the DGA did not release the actual percentage by which the contract was ratified, or the number of members who voted.

"We are pleased that the DGA membership has ratified the new contracts," said the AMPTP in a statement. "These new agreements will contribute to the stability of the industry by ensuring that feature film and television production -- and the jobs dependent on it -- can continue without interruption."

Negotiations with the AMPTP began on Monday, Nov. 4, and concluded after three weeks of negotiations on Friday, Nov. 22. Talks were led by negotiations co-chairs Michael Apted and Thomas Schlamme and DGA national executive director Jay D. Roth. On Nov. 23, the DGA's national board of directors unanimously recommended sending the contract to members for ratification. A summary of the new contract was mailed to members, along with a voting ballot, and the results were tallied last night.

Gains include an annual 3 percent wage increase; increased residuals bases; improvements in basic cable; the establishment, for the first time, of minimum terms and conditions for high-budget new media made for subscription video on demand (SVOD); increased residuals in streaming media; the establishment of a formal diversity program at every major television studio; and improvements in theatrical and television creative rights.

The new contract's three-year term will take effect on July 1, 2014, and will run through June 30, 2017.

The Writers Guild and then SAG-AFTRA are expected to negotiate next with the studios.

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