The Directors Guild of America (DGA) said it has reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The Guild said in a statement on Saturday night the deal secured “major breakthroughs” in addressing the international growth of the entertainment industry and “significant gains” across key economic and creative rights while reaffirming the critical role of DGA directors and their teams.
The tentative agreement will be submitted to the Guild’s national board for approval at a special board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6. No date was given for a ratification vote by members.
This does not necessarily mean the WGA will now find a swift resolution in its impasse with AMPTP.
In fact the WGA negotiating committee told members in a note on Sunday in which it congratulated the DGA negotiating committee that AMPTP’s “divide and conquer’ strategy will not work and only the WGA can negotiate a deal for the writers with AMPTP.
The WGA strike has entered its second month and the parties remain far apart on money and residuals. Both sides have said they want to resume negotiations, however the timetable is getting compressed. AMPTP is preparing to start contract talks with SAG-AFTRA on Wednesday.
Tentative DGA deal highlights appear below, with exact wording provided by DGA.
Wages and Benefits
Groundbreaking gains in wages and benefits including a 5% increase in the first year of the contract, 4% in the second year and 3.5% in the third year. Additional 0.5% to fund a new parental leave benefit.
Global Streaming Residuals
Substantial increase in the residuals for dramatic programs made for SVOD by securing a new residual structure to pay foreign residuals. The result is a 76% increase in foreign residuals for the largest platforms so that residuals for a one-hour episode will now be roughly $90,000 for the first three exhibition years.
Groundbreaking agreement confirming that AI is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.
Established the industry’s first-ever terms and conditions for directors and their teams on non-dramatic (Variety and Reality) programs made for SVOD. Improved residuals and for the first time, Associate Directors and Stage Managers will now share in the residuals.
High Budget AVOD Terms and Conditions
Achieved the industry’s first-ever terms, creative rights protections, working conditions and residuals for scripted dramatic projects made for free to the consumer streaming services such as Freevee, Tubi and Roku. Unit Production Managers and Assistant Directors will share in the residuals.
Historic first-time compensation for the months of “soft prep” feature directors currently perform for free prior to the start of the director’s official prep period.
For Pay TV and SVOD, episodic directors won expanded paid post-production creative rights; and gained an additional guaranteed shoot day for one-hour programs – the first additional day added in more than 40 years.
Reduction in Hours
Unprecedented reduction in the length of the Assistant Director’s day by one hour.
Achieved concrete safety advancements including the first-ever pilot program to require the employment of dedicated safety supervisors; expanded safety training programs for both directors and their teams, and the ban of live ammunition on set. In addition to these historic breakthroughs – this agreement also achieved increased Studio transparency in residuals reporting, improvements in diversity and inclusion, the addition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday and many other gains for all categories.
“We have concluded a truly historic deal,” said Jon Avnet, chair of the DGA’s negotiations committee. “It provides significant improvements for every director, assistant director, unit production manager, associate director and stage manager in our Guild. In these negotiations we made advances on wages, streaming residuals, safety, creative rights and diversity, as well as securing essential protections for our members on new key issues like artificial intelligence – ensuring DGA members will not be replaced by technological advances. This deal would not have been possible without the unity of the DGA membership, and we are grateful for the strong support of union members across the industry.”
“This deal recognises the future of our industry is global and respects the unique and essential role of directors and their teams as we move into that future,” added DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter. “As each new technology brings about major change, this deal ensures that each of the DGA’s 19,000 members can share in the success we all create together. The unprecedented gains in this deal are a credit to the excellent work, tenacity and preparation of our negotiations committee.”