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WGA West Members Turn Down Proposal for Less Frequent Elections

Members of Writers Guild of America West have turned down a proposal that would have mandated holding elections in two of every three years rather than the current practice of annual elections.

In results announced Tuesday, members voted down an amendment that would have changed the WGA West’s annual election to a contest held on a cycle of two of every three years, starting in 2021.

The proposal would have also lengthened the current terms for officers and board members to three years from the current two years; allowed officers to remain in office for six years, rather than the current four years; and allowed board members to remain in office for nine years rather than the current eight years.

The vote fell short of the two-thirds approval needed with 702 in favor to 368 opposed. The goal was to synch up the WGA’s negotiations cycle with the elections cycle.

WGA members approved two other amendments. One will reduce the number of board candidates that the WGA West’s nominating committee must nominate each election from the current 16 to as few as 12 for the eight open board seats. The board told members in the notice sent to them that the amendment was designed to deal with the difficulty experienced by recent nominating committees in recruiting enough nominees to run.

The other amendment reduces the number of signatures required to run by petition for an officer position to 25 from the current 50 and to 15 signatures from the current 25 to run for the board.

WGA West President Howard Rodman said in the notice to members that the changes were aimed at making the election process “more compatible with the actual work of union governance.”

The changes do not impact the WGA East, which has 4,000 members and is based in New York. The WGA West and WGA East jointly negotiate their master contract with producers, a three-year deal which will expire on May 1, 2017.

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