The Arbitration Committee

The Arbitration Committee is made up of three members of the Guild. The criteria for eligibility are outlined in the Manuals. Each Arbitration Committee is assigned a consultant who is available to answer any questions an arbiter may have regarding rules and policy. The consultants are members who have years of experience as writers and arbiters. The names of the arbiters and the consultant are held strictly confidential so that they may perform their duties free from concerns of retaliation or outside pressures. Neither the company nor the participating writers are told the names of the arbiters or the consultant. Each arbiter’s identity is unknown to the other two arbiters.

Submissions to the Arbitration Committee

Each participating writer may submit any or all of their verified literary materials to the Arbitration Committee. Generally, you should submit only those drafts necessary for the arbiters to properly assess your contributions to the final shooting script. Every draft need not be submitted. The members of the Arbitration Committee receive copies of each writer’s selected literary materials which have been verified for submission to the Arbitration Committee, including the final shooting script. The Arbitration Committee also gets the following: copies of the writers’ statements; the credits manual; a cover memo from the Guild which includes a statement of the tentative writing credits as proposed by the company on the Notice; a list of the writers’ materials in chronological sequence; references to applicable rules specifying the contributions necessary for given writers to receive credit; and a suggested deadline for their decision.

Decision of the Arbitration Committee

Each member of the Arbitration Committee reads the materials and deliberates independently, and then reports his/her decision to the Guild and to the consultant. The majority decision of the arbiters becomes the decision of the Arbitration Committee. Once a decision is reached, a Guild employee in the credits department will notify each writer or the writer’s representative by telephone. Once you have been notified, you have 24 hours to appeal the decision by requesting a Policy Review Board. To be fair to all writers, this 24-hour period is strictly applied (i.e., if you are notified of the Arbitration Committee’s decision at 10:00 a.m., you have until 10:00 a.m. the following business day to request a Policy Review Board.) If the 24-hour period expires, and none of the participating writers has requested a Policy Review Board, the Arbitration Committee’s decision becomes final.

If you are considering asking for a Policy Review Board, you should request copies of the written opinions submitted by the Arbitration Committee. If such a request is made, the Guild will provide copies without revealing the identities of the arbiters.