WGA East Members Ratify Public TV Contract

Members of the Writers Guild of America East have ratified a two-year contract covering public TV programs that includes increases in minimums and in employer contributions to the guild’s pension plan.

The contract covers such PBS staples as “Nova,” “American Masters,” “Frontline” and “American Experience.” Most of the shows are produced by WGBH Boston and WNET New York, the largest producers in the PBS lineup.

Deal calls for scribes to receive a 2% increase in minimums this year, retroactive to July 1, and a 2.5% hike as of July 1, 2015. Employers also increased their contributions to the guild’s pension plan by another 0.5% — a fee calculated against total earnings by guild-covered writers.

“Writers Guild members are utterly essential to the creation of the public affairs and cultural programs that public television viewers enjoy and rely on for thoughtful, informed perspectives on the critical issues of our time,” said WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson. “Without our members’ skill, dedication, and experience, the must-see shows on PBS would not get on the air.”

Peterson noted that the WGA East is working on more contracts with unscripted/reality TV producers. He said two companies are at the bargaining table at present.

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