Canadian Writers, Producers Resume Contract Talks

Negotiations will take place between May 7 and 9, with a focus on getting animation minimums into the agreement.

TORONTO - Canadian screenwriters and indie producers are headed back to the bargaining table.

Three days of negotiations are scheduled for May 7 to 9 after talks between the Writers Guild of Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association and the Associations des producteurs de films et de television de Quebec on a new Independent Production Agreement got underway in December 2011, before hitting the pause button early in the new year.

Both parties are expected to get back on a productive track after the WGC fleshed out its position on bringing animation minimums into the agreement.

Hammering out the last IPA, which expired on December 31, 2011, included discussion on fees and conditions for screenwriters working in animation.

Animation wage minimums are being sought to avoid cartoon writing rates falling.

At the same time, Canadian producers already complain the IPA is too restrictive, leading few producers to sign guild contracts.

“It’s been tough bargaining up until now. That’s the nature of the beast,” John Barrack, the CMPA’s chief negotiator, said.

Other issues standing in the way of a new agreement include bibles, options and digital production.

Talks on a new IPA with the WGC will be followed by upcoming negotiations on a new contract between Canadian producers and ACTRA, the performers union.

Negotiators for the WGC were unavailable for comment at press time.