News & Announcements
The WGA East Nonfiction Campaign sends regular newsletters to industry members. If you’re interested in getting updates on the Guild’s nonfiction organizing, email Andrew Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest Victories in Nonfiction
We concluded negotiations at Lion in October 2020. The new contract includes a trigger provision for portable health care once six production in total agreement to a similar provision.
The writer-producers at Vox Entertainment, the nonfiction production company affiliated with Vox Media, Inc., ratified their first union contract in January 2020.
The three-year agreement includes numerous firsts for a nonfiction television agreement, including recognition of Showrunners in the unit—mirroring how Showrunners are classified in scripted television. The agreement also calls for Showrunner feedback to be considered when a show is renewed or during production, especially in regard to staffing and scheduling.
Vox Entertainment currently produces EXPLAINED on Netflix, NO PASSPORT REQUIRED WITH MARCUS SAMUELSSON on PBS and CONSIDER IT on Facebook Watch, among a growing slate of nonfiction programs appearing on both traditional and new media platforms. Vox Entertainment develops and produces original programming independently and in collaboration with Vox Media’s editorial network, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com.
NBC News Studios / Peacock Productions
After 8 years of struggle, Peacock settled their first union contract in January 2019. The contract includes provisions for key industry issues such as flex plan contributions, comp time, and pay minimums.
However, in January 2020, Peacock notified the WGAE that the company would be shuttered in March, and that writer-producers would no longer be employed at Peacock. Instead, the company said it would continue to produce nonfiction programs at another part of the NBC News operation, which would operate under the name “NBC News Studios”.
After the Guild pressed for clarification, it became clear that “NBC News Studios” would continue the work of Peacock Productions under a different banner, using Peacock Productions employees—but with one key difference: the company was refusing to apply the WGAE collective bargaining agreement to any of those employees.
The Guild and nonfiction industry members rallied to demand that NBC News Studios respect the collective bargaining agreement that Peacock Productions employees fought nearly a decade to achieve—and in August 2020, we reached an agreement, and the Peacock CBA now is in effect at NBC News studios.
This contract fight didn’t just help us set key standards in the industry, it also demonstrates the dedication and tenacity that nonfiction workers and the Guild have for building a fully unionized industry.
VICE Media / Viceland
All of VICE Media is now organized with the WGA East, including Viceland—the nonfiction production arm of the company. Viceland will also be on the Flex Plan, which adds another company to the growing list of nonfiction shops that provide Portable Healthcare.
Viceland Contract Highlights:
- Just cause for freelance workers
- Freelance to staff conversion after working 220 days in a rolling 12 month period
- Language on gender pronouns, as well as non-discrimination language encompassing gender expression, gender identity, immigration status and age
- Increases to salary mininmums, and annual increases to those minimums
- Transgender and other Gender Fluidity health benefits/coverage
- Kill fee one-week notice or one week’s pay if canceled prior to the scheduled end date
- Contract language on online harassment and cybersecurity
The Guild hosts several nonfiction events each year, including:
- AP to Producer trainings
- Showrunner trainings
- Mentorship programs
- Panel discussions
- Social events and happy hours