“At a time of enormous uncertainty, when we are all feeling the weight of this current pandemic, it is reassuring to say the least for our members to know that when the industry resumes production, a strong new agreement awaits them,” said Schlamme. “The agreement contains significant progress in key areas, including dramatic improvements in SVOD residues and coverage; a significant increase in the resources allocated to our retirement plan to ensure our retirement promises, now and in the future; healthy wage increases and significant gains in creative television rights. As previously reported, one-hour programs for the largest streaming platforms will pay more than $73,000 in the first three years of use in the second year of the new agreement, which is almost fivefold compared to 2016 (combined with 2017 profits) and, according to the union, on the average remains obtained in all markets for the most popular network series. Increases for half an hour and programs on smaller platforms were not disclosed in the summary. The guild refused to provide a copy of the agreement itself and had no comment on the article. Unscripted Programming: For the first time, associate directors and scene managers will receive a $55 daily remote location fee in “other prime time drama programs,” in addition to daily allowances and any other location costs that may be incurred. The maximum cap on production costs during a working week for associate directors and stage managers employed in non-prime time entertainment programs is increased from $71 to $100 for each work week and further increased by the salary stairs of the second and third years of the agreement. On some basic cable shows, employers now have to pay overtime and work bonuses on six and seven days and holidays. The elimination of the “grandfather” by the series that began producing under a previous contract was also determined during the following seasons by the terms of that previous contract. Under the new agreement, large-euroity will be abolished, allowing more members working on SVOD series to benefit from the renegotiated terms.
Details of the interim agreement will be released after the agreement has been submitted to the Guild`s National Council for approval at an extraordinary board meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020. The new agreement also contains a number of other improvements in SVOD functions, non-dramatic programs and security. Wages and residual bases: general increases in wages and residual incomes of 2.5% in the first year of the agreement and 3% in the second and third years of the agreement. The above and other minimum requirements apply to the DITe “High Budget SVOD” series, a category that the guild has been able to expand by negotiating lower budget thresholds where a show is qualified. For the new half-hour series, the budget threshold will increase from the current USD 1,300,000 to USD 1,000,000 per episode and for one hour of series from 2,500,000 usd to 1,700,000 USD as a result, with thresholds to be increased by 3% in the third year of the agreement.