DGA, Networks Reach Tentative Deal in News, Sports and Operations

New agreement includes wage and health plan increases.

On Saturday, the DGA National Board of Directors voted unanimously to send a tentative new Network Staff Agreement to members for ratification.

Continuing an entertainment industry trend, the deal focuses on bread and butter issues: wages and health benefits. The wage bumps are 2% in the second and third year of the pact, with no increase in the first year. That compares with annual 2% bumps in other recent three-year entertainment deals such as the Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 accord.

The DGA deal also includes 1% higher employer health plan contributions, bringing the total to 9.5%. This is a large increase -- 0.5% bumps are generally more common -- and presumably reflects
concern over health plan stability amid ever-higher health care costs.

The agreement is between the DGA and ABC, CBS and NBC. It is distinct from the DGA agreement covering scripted television and theatrical work. That deal will be negotiated starting Nov. 15.