WGAE Council FAQ

What is the Council?
The Council is the governing body of the WGAE, consisting of 19 members [6 Staff and 13 Freelance], plus the three officers­ (President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer).

What is a Freelance member and what is a Staff member?
Freelance members work in screen, television and digital media, and Staff members work in television and radio news shops under the Guild’s jurisdiction.

What does the Council do?
The Council’s responsibilities include:

  • setting Guild policy and organizing objectives
  • management of funds and property of the Guild
  • negotiation of contracts
  • appointment of Guild Trustees to the Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan and the Writers Guild-Industry Health Fund
  • the construction and interpretation of the provisions of the Guild’s Constitution and By-Laws
  • the appointment of both standing and ad hoc committees
  • receiving the Executive Director’s reports

How long is the term of office for Council members and officers?
2 years.

How often does the Council meet?
Monthly, usually on the first Thursday.

How long are the meetings?
Anywhere from one to three hours.

How many vacancies are there each year?
Of the 6 staff seats and 13 freelance seats on Council, 3 staff seats and either 6 or 7 freelance seats are up for election each year (7 in 2014). Candidates run for the seats within their own membership categories. Officer positions are vacated every other year (they are not up for election in 2014).

Who is eligible to run for Council or an officer position?
Any member in good standing who has been a member for one year preceding the annual meeting of the Guild (always the third Thursday in September).

How does one get nominated?
In mid-April, an eblast/mailing to all current members will solicit nominations for Council members (and officers if applicable). Nomination forms are available online and by mail. Members may nominate themselves and/or others for Council (and one other person for each office).

What does the Election Committee do?
The Election Committee comprises former Council members and is responsible for reviewing, maintaining and recommending election policies and procedures in compliance with labor law.

How does voting occur?
Members may vote online, by mail or in person.

What is a slate?
Any number of candidates may ally themselves with each other and endorse each other. Members vote on candidates individually.

How does the Guild facilitate a candidate’s campaign?

  • Each candidate’s statement will be posted on the Guild’s website. All candidates’ statements will also appear on the online voting site (Votenet). An eblast will be sent to the membership with a link to all candidates’ statements. Your statement must be sent to Dana Weissman, Director of Programs, via e-mail () as a Word attachment, in final form, and received by 11:59pm EDT on July 15, 2014.
  • Each candidate or slate of candidates is permitted to send out either one eblast or one postcard to the entire membership. The Guild will facilitate your eblast or postcard mailing, and you will be charged at cost for whatever goods and services the Guild provides (such as printing, postage and cardstock). For a 5 ½- x 9 ½-inch postcard, the minimum cost is $2,071. For a 4- x 6-inch postcard, the minimum cost is $1,501.
  • Each candidate or slate of candidates is also entitled to one endorsement communication sent by a fellow Guild member(s) as either an eblast or postcard, subject to candidate’s approval and facilitated by the Guild at cost to the member.
  • In sum, each candidate is entitled to up to two Guild-facilitated communications separate and apart from the Candidate Statement. The Guild-facilitated campaign communication will begin when Candidate Statements are posted on the website, on or around August 1, 2014.
  • Text for postcard mailings may be sent to the Guild beginning July 28, and must be received at the Guild office no later than noon on September 3, 2014.
  • In the interest of fairness, the Election Committee recommends that, on election mailings, all names of endorsers be listed in alphabetical order and officers not be listed with their office titles.
  • Eblasts and postcard mailings will be sent to the membership beginning August 1, 2014, in the order in which they are received at the Guild.  (An eblast may contain more than one candidate’s message, or group’s message, as the Guild sends at most one election-related eblast per day.)
  • In an eblast, the header will read: WGAE Candidate Message or WGAE Candidate Messages (with number of messages in parentheses).
  • There is no word limit on candidate’s statements or individual campaign eblasts.
  • No photos, email addresses or web links are allowed in candidates’ statements, postcards or eblasts.

A Nominees’ Gathering will take place at the Guild, to familiarize potential candidates with the process of running for and serving on Council.