Writers Guild of Canada, Producer Talks to Resume

After bargaining was postponed in May as the Canadian Media Production Association installed a new chief negotiator, contract negotiations will restart in September.

TORONTO - New contract bargaining dates have been set between the Writers Guild of Canada and Canadian indie producers to end a lengthy delay.

The WGC’s bargaining team and representatives from the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA), representing indie producers, and the Association des producteurs de films et de télévision de Québec (APFTQ), the Quebec counterpart, will resume talks on a new Independent Production Agreement for three days from September 19.

The return to the bargaining table follows a postponement in May as Reynolds Mastin replaced John Barrack as chief negotiator for the CMPA.

Since the latest IPA talks got underway late last year, the WGC has made little headway on its top priority to establish minimum script fees for animation writers.

An apparent rift has opened as WGC executive director Maureen Parker weighs whether now is the time to push for animation minimums, while WGC president Jill Golick urges the union to press on for minimum compensation.

Another sticking point lies with documentary writing rates, where English-language documentary production in Quebec is well down on former levels and producers in the rest of Canada increasingly go non-union.

That has the WGC caught between cutting documentary writing rates to price guild members back into the market, and yet not setting a precedent for other areas of the industry.

Canadian producers are also to negotiate later this year on a new collective agreement with ACTRA, Canada’s performers union.

Calls to the WGC’s Maureen Parker and Jill Golick were not returned at press time.

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