Canadian screenwriters pact with producers

The union representing Canadian screenwriters has inked a single collective agreement with producers in both English and French Canada.

Once ratified by members of the Writers Guild of Canada, the new three-year contract will offer an across-the-board fee increase of 4%, up insurance contributions for producers and give telepic and miniseries writers a 6.5% pay raise.

“We made important headway on this collective agreement,” said WGC executive director Maureen Parker. “We were able to put strategies in place that will benefit screenwriters in the long term.”

Pact also provides full coverage to animation writers and standardizes their writing credits. It also extends coverage to the burgeoning digital sector, including Webisodes, mobisodes and digital downloading.

“This tentative agreement is full of good news for professional screenwriters,” said WGC prexy Rebecca Schechter. “Not only have we returned to the same agreement for all writers across Canada, there are two big jurisdictional wins and increased fees and insurance benefits.”

Previously, the guild negotiated separate collective agreements with the Canadian Film & Television Production Assn. (CFTPA) and its Quebec counterpart, the Assn. des producteurs de films et de television du Quebec (AFTPQ). The contracts contained differing rates and conditions.

To encourage the use of guild members, the new contract also waives minimum fees on productions with budgets under C$60,000 ($54,000).

WGC members are expected to ratify the tentative agreement by the end of June.

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