Leaders of the Directors Guild of America have approved a three-year successor deal to the DGA master contract, triggering a ratification vote by the 18,000 members.
The DGA national board announced Saturday that it had approved the deal unanimously. The guild revealed that the agreement includes a significant increase in residuals for high-budget streaming content, pension, wages and TV creative rights.
“The future is what drives us, and that’s what you see in this agreement. As the streaming sea change we anticipated for so long is now overhauling the industry, and new services continue to enter the market, this pivotal deal boosting streaming residuals beyond traditional TV levels is a major victory for our members thanks to our negotiations co-chairs Jon Avnet and Todd Holland, and our fearless chief negotiator national executive director Russ Hollander,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme.
The DGA obtained a nearly 50% increase in residuals for members working on original SVOD series, bringing the three-year residual for a 60-minute series on the highest subscriber SVOD services to more than $73,000.
“To put the accomplishment in perspective, when combined with the gains from the 2017 agreement, the residual is up nearly fivefold from under $15,000 in 2016, and exceeds the average residuals earned from all markets for the most popular network series,” the DGA said.
The DGA also said lower budget made-for-SVOD series will now also be captured under the new contract, which it said expands the scope of coverage to many more series. Additionally, the new agreement eliminates “grandfathering” of terms of series that began production during a prior contract.
The new agreement includes wage and residual base increases of 2.5% in the first year of the agreement and 3% in the second and third years of the agreement. The employer contribution rate to the pension plan will increase by 1% in the first year of the agreement from 7% to 8%. The DGA will also have the right to allocate up to an additional .5% of salary in the second and third years to either the pension plan or the health plan.
Negotiators for the DGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached the agreement on March 4 following four weeks of talks. The DGA’s current three-year contract with the AMPTP expires on June 30.
The DGA has negotiated its deal prior to the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA during the past two negotiating cycles. The AMPTP will likely propose that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA accept terms and conditions similar to those in the DGA deal.
The WGA master contract expires on May 1 and talks with the AMPTP will launch on March 23.
SAG-AFTRA’s deal expires on June 30. Negotiations on the performers union’s successor deal have not been set yet.