Canadian pact gives scribes bump up in pay

Animation writers included in deal

MONTREAL — Canadian scribes got a pay raise in a collective agreement for English-language screenwriting, in a deal that will run Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The Writers Guild of Canada made the deal with the Canadian Media Production Assn. and the Assn. des Producteurs de Films et du Television du Quebec.

The agreement includes an immediate 2% increase in minimum script fees plus another 2% increase in January. There will be a further 1% increase in January 2014. Screenwriters will also nab a 1% increase in retirement contributions paid on fees.

Writers Guild of Canada executive director Maureen Parker said one of the most significant aspects of the agreement is the establishment of minimum rates for screenwriting in animation. These fees have tended to be quite low in the past.

“We have a very large television animation industry in Canada and it’s very successful,” Parker said. “Now there’s equity and fairness.”

The Canadian screenwriters also made a couple of concessions to help out producers on lower-budget films, both documentaries and feature films.

“We want to see if that generates more writing,” Parker said. “We’re trying to work together with producers to generate more production.”

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