WGAE Members Unite and Approve Constitutional Changes, Union Moves Forward Into #NextChapter
NEW YORK, NY (June 9, 2022) – Members of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), have overwhelmingly approved a referendum on changes to the union’s constitution. These changes ensure that the union’s governing council of members proportionately reflects the Guild’s different work sectors and ensures protection for each sector’s specific contracts and benefits.
Votes to approve the Constitutional changes: 1,567 (98 percent)
Votes opposing the Constitutional changes: 40 (2 percent)
“I’m proud of the union and the way in which our officers and Council representatives have worked together, facing what often seemed to be intractable issues, yet reaching consensus,” said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America East. “We now stand united and determined just as we confront the big fights ahead, from next year’s MBA negotiations with the studios and networks to building and enforcing strong contracts for our new shops.”
The WGAE Council has spent this year working together, as well as with Guild staff and an outside facilitator and outside labor lawyer, to create the proposed changes, which will ensure that each sector controls its own benefits and contracts without interference. This will be accomplished by proportional representation on the Council, based on current membership demographics, and a new election structure in which members will only vote for leadership representatives of their own work sector. Changes to the constitution also include the creation of three work sector vice presidents―one each for members working in Film/TV/Streaming, Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News, and Online Media.
The Council also has approved a new organizing resolution that equitably supports the organizing of writers in all of the union’s work sectors. The organizing resolution created a committee made up of Council members from all work areas who already are meeting to advise and consult with staff about potential organizing targets as well as an overall, logical and long-range organizing strategy.
The WGAE kicked off the referendum campaign, designated #NextChapter, in April, encouraging members to approve the changes. Voting began on May 23 and ended on June 9. 1,607 members cast votes in the referendum, a participation rate of 24 percent.
As a result of the referendum’s passage, an official notice soliciting nominations for this year’s Council elections will be sent in July.
ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news and new media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America East, visit wgaeast.org.