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The Writers Guild of America ratified its new contract with the major studios and producers essentially unanimously, with the union announcing Wednesday that there were 3,617 ‘yes’ votes and only 30 ‘no’ votes. Turnout was not high, though, as there were 9,441 eligible voters.
That 38 percent return rate is dwarfed by the 67.5 percent return rate — 6,310 returned ballots — on the guild’s strike authorization vote four weeks ago.
“Our success in these negotiations was due to a highly engaged and dedicated membership, working in tandem with a tireless and informed Negotiating Committee and an extraordinary Guild staff. We achieved new and significant gains that will help today’s writers even as they benefit the next generation,” WGAE president Michael Winship and WGAW resident Howard A. Rodman said in a statement. “Our thanks go out to all of those who contributed to the process and to the thousands of our fellow writers who participated in the strike authorization and ratification votes.”
Features of the new contract include bolstering the solvency of the guild’s health plan, increased compensation for writers on short seasons, expansion of the limitations on options and exclusivity, increased residuals for made-for-pay-TV programs and programs made for high-budget SVOD and, for the first time ever in a WGA contract, a provision guaranteeing parental leave.
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