The Directors Guild of America told members Thursday that it is preparing to fight for gains in the next contract, but acknowledged that economic headwinds present an “extremely challenging negotiating environment.”
Russell Hollander, the national executive director, and Jon Avnet, the co-chair of the negotiating committee, cited inflation and a possible recession as factors in the upcoming talks. The current contract expires on June 30, 2023.
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“Our industry and the entire country are challenged by inflation, economic headwinds and a possible recession, and the Employers are focused on their bottom lines,” the leaders said. “This will not be an ordinary negotiation.”
The DGA leadership told members that its top issues include increasing streaming residuals “based on real-world global value,” as well as cost of living increases and securing the pension and health plan.
“The industry has changed and the pace of that change has accelerated significantly since we concluded our last agreements in March, 2020 as each of the major studios have now launched their own streaming platforms and are prioritizing those streaming platforms over everything else,” the union leaders said.
The letter also stated that the union’s negotiating goals include addressing set safety, diversity, transparency from the studios, and “the role and vision of all directors, and in particular, television directors.”
The union said that it has a history of making real progress in contract negotiations, even in “tough environments.”
“We are ready for negotiations and, if necessary, we are prepared for a fight,” the leaders said. “These negotiations will shape the future of our industry.”
The SAG-AFTRA contract also expires on June 30. The DGA traditionally goes first in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios.
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