DGA Board Approves Tentative Deal

The deal, which provides for 2% annual pay increases and a one-time 1.5% boost in P&H, will soon go to the membership for ratification, with a ballot return date in January.

The DGA national board unanimously approved the tentative deal reached with the studios Tuesday and will soon send it to the membership for ratification.

As with the recent SAG/AFTRA deal, the new three-year pact includes 2% annual wage increases and a one-time 1.5% increase in employer contributions to the pension and health plans (to 15.5%), as well as a shift from first-class air travel to new rules favoring business class and coach.

The agreement also provides for various director specific changes.

In a statement, negotiating committee chair Gil Cates said “I’m truly pleased with this new contract.”

The DGA’s emphasis on pension and health was expected, as Cates had disclosed this priority in a letter to the membership.

As with the SAG/AFTRA deal, there were no significant changes in new media. SAG/AFTRA achieved a revision in the definition of “covered performer,” but this was a minor and actor-specific modification.

The deal will next go to the guild’s membership for ratification, with a ballot return date in January.

The DGA and the AMPTP reached the tentative deal after about three weeks of negotiations.

The current SAG, AFTRA and DGA contracts expire on June 30. The WGA contract expires two months earlier, on May 1, but no talks have been scheduled yet.

That’s generating concern that the WGA may not schedule negotiations until March, and engage in a brinkmanship strategy in order to seek improvements in areas that SAG/AFTRA did not, such as certain new media and basic cable provisions. The WGA has identified both those areas as priorities, as well as pension and health improvements and workplace issues such as “a deteriorating pitching process.”