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What are Guild contracts?
One of the valuable services the Guild provides to members is contract negotiation. The Guild negotiates two-, three-, or four-year contracts with companies that employ WGAE members. Our aim is to negotiate the best terms possible for compensation, benefits, creative rights and job security.
There are, broadly, two types of Guild contracts: Freelance contracts, which tend to cover the work done by members in the film and network television industries; and Staff contracts, which tend to cover the work done by members who work in news (be it for radio, television, or digital media) and public television.
The primary contract we negotiate for Freelance members is the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA). In addition, we provide several other Freelance contracts and agreements.
Members who work under a given Staff contract typically work for the same company (or “shop”), so the Guild negotiates different Staff contracts for each of those unionized shops.
The Guild negotiates contracts on behalf of its members with companies that employ writers. The union also offers legal and professional advice to members with private employment agreements. Once these contracts are negotiated and put in place, the Guild actively enforces them to insure that members receive everything to which they are entitled.
The WGA’s aim is to negotiate the best terms possible for compensation, benefits, creative rights, and job security.
What can a Guild contract provide?
- Fair compensation & minimum rates
- Job security & workplace protections
- Protected creative rights
- Health benefits & pension
Guild contracts mean something important for every member, regardless of the work they do or the employer they work for. A Guild contract protects workers through the collective power of their fellow members, past and present.
Freelance contracts – In order to ensure that the terms negotiated in the MBA truly reflect the needs of our members, we engage members in every step of the negotiation process: thousands of writers participate in surveys and attend pre-negotiation outreach meetings; a negotiating committee made up of Writers Guild members from the East and West partake in the contract negotiations themselves; and the contract is ratified only if a majority of Guild members vote in favor of doing so.
Staff contracts – The process of negotiating a staff news contract—otherwise known as a “collective bargaining agreement” (CBA)—begins when employees at a given company form a staff union with the WGAE and win recognition from their employer. After winning union recognition, employees nominate a committee that, alongside WGAE staff, will bargain a first contract with the company. A union contract only goes into effect after bargaining is complete and members vote to ratify the agreement.
Learn more about Contracts.
Information about the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) and its benefits and protections—as well as the full text of the agreement—are available here.
All other Freelance contracts are available here.
All of the Guild’s Staff/News contracts can be found here.
You can also find information about the status of the Guild’s staff unions and ongoing organizing campaigns at digital news sites here, and about the status of our nonfiction television industry campaigns here.