Press Room

Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Monday November 26, 2018

WGAE Reaches New Deal with Optomen

NEW YORK, NY (November 26, 2018) – Optomen Productions, a prominent nonfiction production company based in New York, has agreed to a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East.

The Guild’s renewal agreement with Optomen includes a 5% pay increase in post producer scale, the creation of a labor-management committee, and associate-producers will transition from a weekly to an hourly overtime structure.

In 2012, Optomen became the first nonfiction production company to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the WGAE. The company is a member of NPACT, the nonfiction production industry association, and Optomen President Maria Silver sits on NPACT’s board.

In addition to Optomen, the WGAE has collective bargaining agreements with Lion Television and Sharp Entertainment and represents writer-producers at ITV’s Kirkstall Road Enterprises and Leftfield Pictures, NBCU’s Peacock Productions, and VICE Media.

The WGAE Nonfiction Television Industrywide Committee said, “The people who work in nonfiction television are joining together to secure safe working conditions, fair pay and health benefits. We are pleased that Optomen has shown leadership in an industry where the majority of production companies still have little regard for the well-being of their workforce.”

“The Guild’s new collective bargaining agreement with Optomen offers a template for how writer-producers can build sustainable careers in the nonfiction television industry,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “The Writers Guild of America, East is committed to our efforts to bring economic and social justice to people who craft content in this multi-billion-dollar industry.”

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


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