Directors Guild of America Sets Negotiations With Producers

The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have set a tentative date to enter into contract negotiations in early December.

“The parties have agreed that they will continue discussions in the interim to further define the issues before determining whether this will be the official start date for negotiations for the 2017 Agreement,” the guild and the AMPTP said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “As is tradition, the DGA and the AMPTP have also agreed that neither organization will comment further to the press regarding negotiations until an announcement has been made.”

The DGA tapped secretary-treasurer Michael Apted and third VP Thomas Schlamme as co-chairs of its negotiating committee for the successor deal to its master contract. The guild’s current three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires on June 30, 2017. The DGA has over 16,000 members.

SAG-AFTRA’s current master contract with the AMPTP also expires on June 30, 2017, while the Writers Guild of America’s deal will expire on May 1, 2017. The WGA usually goes into negotiations after DGA and SAG-AFTRA have completed their deals.

The AMPTP serves as the negotiating arm for the major production companies. AMPTP President Carol Lombardini is the lead negotiator.

In the 2013-14 round of negotiations, the DGA announced it had ratified its deal in early January of 2014 — six months before the contract expired. That contract provided for wage increases of 2.5% the first year, and 3% for the second and third years; a 0.5% increase in the pension plan, with the DGA able to divert that increase to wages in the first year if it chose; residuals also increased 2.5% the first year, and went up 3% in the second and third years except for network primetime, which increased by 2% each year.

The pact also included for the first time specific wages, terms, and conditions for “high-budget” original and derivative dramatic new media productions made for SVOD.

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