DGA Leaders Lay Out Goals For Contract Talks That Start Wednesday – Watch The Video

The Directors Guild of America has released a new video outlining its bargaining position on the eve its contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which get under way tomorrow. The video features Jon Avnet, chair of the DGA’s negotiating committee, and co-chairs Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland.

“Now that formal negotiations are beginning,” they said in an accompanying message to the guild’s members, “you will hear from us less frequently. As you know, we don’t negotiate in the press. Contract negotiations can bring speculation and rumors that appear online or in the media.”

They also laid out their priorities “for a strong contract that treats us fairly and allows us to share in the success of an evolving entertainment industry,” which include:

  • Securing wage increases that address inflation.
  • Maintaining the strength and sustainability of our world-class pension and health care plans.
  • Negotiating meaningful increases and structural changes to streaming residual formulas that account for the global growth of the audience.
  • Protecting the role and vision of Directors.
  • Protecting our jurisdiction over projects produced abroad for U.S. audiences.
  • Improving safety on the set by expanding and encouraging training and addressing long workdays.
  • Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion and strengthening the voices of under-represented people.
  • Looking out for the full directorial team – the Assistant Directors, UPMs, Associate Directors and Stage Managers – who sustain every production with their hard work and professionalism.

See the video here.

JON AVNET: Hello. My name is Jon Avnet, and I chair the Negotiations Committee with my two co-chairs, Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland. We wanted to talk to you and give you an update. We are about to begin our negotiations with the producers, the AMPTP, tomorrow. These negotiations are unique in many ways.

TODD HOLLAND: The Writers Guild and Producers have not reached an agreement. Now, the WGA is on strike. We hope they win a fair contract on terms that respects their vital contributions to this industry. We are all union workers. They write the stories that we direct, that actors perform — and with the help of our craftspeople and drivers, together we bring these stories to life.

KAREN GAVIOLA: Our industry has changed, is changing and will continue to change. The explosive popularity of streaming around the world has transformed how, and where, our work is viewed — and our contracts must adapt to changing production and distribution.

TODD HOLLAND: Since the birth of the Guild in 1936, we have partnered with producers to share in the success of our industry as we fought for our future.  And now we are fighting to receive our fair share of the new, global future.

JON AVNET: We have a short window to negotiate. And our mission is very clear.

TODD HOLLAND: To further strengthen the economic and creative rights of Directors, teams. And to further protect and strengthen our health care and pension plans.

KAREN GAVIOLA: To secure wage increases that address inflation.

TODD HOLLAND: To make it safer on the set, to expand and encourage training, and to address the health and safety crisis of dangerously long workdays.

KAREN GAVIOLA: To ensure that the full directorial team — assistant directors, UPMs, associate directors and stage managers – are respected and compensated for their tremendous contributions. And to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our industry.

TODD HOLLAND: We are confident because our 19,000 members are unified.

JON AVNET: Together, we are an unstoppable union. We’ve negotiated world-class contracts because we deserve them. 

KAREN GAVIOLA: This year, our negotiations are about more than our next contract.

TODD HOLLAND: We know there will be conflict. The battle will test us.  But we won’t rest until we win a strong contract today that builds a bridge to continued DGA prosperity into the future.

JON AVNET: And we will do that because we are the DGA.  We have always done that and we will do it once again.

Earlier today, DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter released a statement about the guild’s upcoming negotiations, saying: “Make no mistake: the current position of the studios is a threat to the economic model that for decades has protected tens of thousands of good, union jobs in our industry.”

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