Directors Guild of America Ratifies 3-Year Commercials Contract

Members of the Directors Guild of America have ratified a three-year successor agreement to the master contract between the DGA and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers.

“From increases in wages and benefit contributions to gains in safety, we entered into negotiations with the goal of achieving the best possible deal for our members who work in the commercial production industry,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “Thanks to the DGA negotiations committee and our professional staff, we met that objective with a new contract that contains significant improvements while also allowing producers the flexibility they need to keep this rapidly evolving, global industry thriving.”

The agreement mirrors the gains the DGA achieved in its successor deal covering feature film and TV work, which went into effect on July 1. The guild, which has more than 17,000 members, said the contract was ratified by an “overwhelming” margin but did not disclose specific numbers.

The contract goes into effect on Dec. 1. Highlights include wage increases of 2.5% in the first year and 3% in each of the second and third years; and a permanent increase in the employer contribution rate to the DGA Pension Plan by one-half percent (.5%) in the first year of the agreement from 5.5% to 6%. The DGA will also have the right to allocate up to .5% of the negotiated increases in salary rates in the second and third years to the DGA Pension Plan or DGA Health Plan.

The new deal also establishes mandatory safety training for assistant directors and unit production managers to support their roles in helping the employer maintain best practices and a safe working environment.

Other highlights include “outsized” wage gains for second assistant directors, increases in the base upon which pension and health contributions are made on behalf of directors, and a commitment from the AICP to further develop the Director Diversity Program established in the 2014 negotiations.

Negotiations were led by associate national executive director Bryan Unger, eastern executive director Neil Dudich, and a DGA member negotiations committee. The DGA’s national board unanimously approved the contract during a special board meeting on Nov. 4.

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