The Directors Guild of America has extended its commercials contract with producers — including recently approved COVID-19 safety protocols — for a year until Nov. 30, 2021.

The DGA, which represents more than 18,000 members, has announced that its national board had unanimously approved the one-year extension of its National Commercial Agreement with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. The extension has gone into effect retroactively to Dec. 1, 2020, and  includes a 1% increase in the employer contribution rate to the DGA-Producer Pension Plan on Jan. 1, 2021. That increases the employer contribution to 8%.

The DGA and other major Hollywood unions reached an agreement with the AICP last month on universal COVID-19 safety standards for commercial production. Those protocols require testing of those working on sets and will run through April 30, 2021. SAG-AFTRA is not a party to that agreement.

“As a condition of employment, the Employer shall test Employees (excluding Employees who are working exclusively remotely) for Covid-19 within 3 days prior to the start of their employment,” the agreement said.

The development comes on the heels of producers of feature films and television agreeing to notify the entertainment industry’s unions when a member of casts and crews test positive for COVID-19, in a revision of the industry’s two-month-old safety protocols. That revised agreement, which took effect on Nov. 30, is contained in a Nov. 19 side letter issued by Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, to the leaders of Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Basic Crafts unions.

The AMPTP and the unions announced on Sept. 21 that they had reached an agreement on protocols to allow the industry to safely restart production amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that point, the safety protocols were hammered out on a production-by-production basis.