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Public Television Employees Ratify Writers Guild Contract

The Writers Guild of America has reached agreement on a new three-year public television contract, which has been unanimously ratified by the members.

The deal covers about 200 employees working on shows such as “Nova,” “Frontline,” “American Experience”  and “American Masters.”

The new contract — negotiated jointly by the WGA East and WGA West — provides a 3% increase in all minimums retroactive to July 1, with 0.5% of that amount diverted to the Writers Guild Industry Health Fund.

Other increases to all minimums will be effective on July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, and will be the same as those negotiated next year for the successor deal for the WGA’s master contract, which expires May 1. All other terms in the previous Public Television contract will remain in effect.

The WGA has not yet scheduled negotiations on a successor deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The WGA-PBS negotiating committee authorized the union to pursue a “cut through” negotiation with the the signatory employers — principally WGBH and WNET — over wages and benefits. WNET and WGBH are members of and program providers to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

“Our members create some of the most compelling — and award-winning — shows on public television, including ‘Frontline,’ ‘Nova,’ ‘American Experience’ and episodes of ‘American Masters,'” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA East.

“Their creative vision, their dedication to craft, and in many cases their contribution to raising money, directing and producing, make it possible for WGBH, WNET and other signatory producers to present shows that inform our national dialogue about the vital political, cultural, economic and scientific issues of our times,” he added.  “We are very pleased that the producers have agreed to adopt the percentage increases that are negotiated in the Guilds’ contract with the major networks and studios.”

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