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12 June 20233 minute read

DGA and AMPTP reach tentative three-year collective bargaining agreement: see the details

On June 6, 2023, the national board of directors of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) unanimously approved a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The deal is “truly historic,” according to Jon Avnet, chair of the DGA’s Negotiations Committee, and contemplates improvements to wages, streaming residuals, safety, creative rights and diversity, while addressing other issues such as the use of artificial intelligence.

The DGA has published a list of key updates to the collective bargaining agreement. Specifically:

  • Wages and benefits: Gains in wages and benefits including a 5 percent increase in the first year of the contract, 4 percent in the second year and 3.5 percent in the third year. Additional 0.5 percent to fund a new parental leave benefit.
  • Global streaming residuals: Increase in the residuals for dramatic programs made for SVOD (subscription video on demand) by securing a new residual structure to pay foreign residuals. The result is a 76 percent increase in foreign residuals for the largest platforms so that residuals for a one-hour episode will now be roughly $90,000 for the first three exhibition years.
  • Artificial intelligence: Confirmation that AI is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.
  • Non-dramatic programs: Established the industry’s first-ever terms and conditions for Directors and their teams on non-dramatic (Variety and Reality) programs made for SVOD. Improved residuals and for the first time, Associate Directors and Stage Managers will now share in the residuals.
  • High-budget AVOD terms and conditions: Achieved the industry’s first-ever terms for AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) creative rights protections, working conditions and residuals for scripted dramatic projects made for free to the consumer streaming services such as Freevee, Tubi and Roku. Unit Production Managers and Assistant Directors will share in the residuals.
  • Feature directors: Compensation for the months of “soft prep” Feature Directors currently perform for free prior to the start of the Director’s official prep period.
  • Episodic directors: For Pay TV and SVOD, Episodic Directors won expanded paid post-production creative rights; and gained an additional guaranteed shoot day for one-hour programs.
  • Reduction in hours: Reduction in the length of the Assistant Director’s day by one hour.
  • Safety: Safety advancements including the first-ever pilot program to require the employment of dedicated safety supervisors; expanded safety training programs for both Directors and their teams, and the ban of live ammunition on set.

The tentative agreement has been sent to a ratification vote by DGA members, who will have through June 23 to approve or reject its terms.

The DGA deal comes as other collective bargaining units representing entertainment creatives remain at an impasse with the AMPTP and are in various stages of work stoppage. The Writers Guild of America strike continues as it enters its second month, while the members of SAG-AFTRA, which represents film and TV actors, have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if they are unable reach a deal with the AMPTP by June 30.

Learn more about these developments by contacting any of the authors.