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WGA members will start voting this month on rules that impose uniform eligibility standards for the WGA West and the WGA East for nationwide votes such as strike authorization and contract ratification.

Both branches of the guild will send out mail ballots on the constitutional amendments later this month and have set June 16 for membership meetings to tally the ballots. There are about 8,000 WGA West members and 4,000 WGA East members.

The agreement between leaders of the WGA West and WGA East was announced earlier this year. In addition to standardizing eligibility rules for WGA members to vote in nationwide elections, the guilds also agreed the WGA East would have four members on the national bargaining committee; the number in 2007 was three.

The language specifies that to vote in a joint election, members must meet one of three eligibility standards — earnings of $30,000 under a WGA agreement during the six years preceding the vote; 15 or more qualified years as a pension plan participant; or employment under a staff news contract at the time of the vote.