Directors Guild Adds WGA’s Streaming Bonus Structure to Labor Contract

The Directors Guild of America has secured multiple key additions to its bargaining agreement with Hollywood studios, seven months after being the only one of the three entertainment unions to reach a deal without going on strike.

Most prominent of the contract additions is the streaming bonus structure negotiated between the studio labor reps, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Writers Guild of America this past September. The new streaming structure went into effect on Jan. 1.

“With few exceptions, the residual structures are aligned across the Guilds, and the implementation of this new model, which provides additional compensation based upon a viewer metric across the entire season of a show, follows that pattern,” national executive director Russell Hollander wrote in a memo to members on Thursday. “Although this will not impact a large number of DGA members, it opens the door to additional compensation tied to the success of a project in future negotiations.”

The DGA and AMPTP reached an agreement on a contract in June 2023 in between the start of the WGA strike on May 1 and the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike in mid-July. While some members called for the contract to be rejected in solidarity with writers and to increase the leverage of both unions, it was ratified with 87% of the membership vote.

Other additions to the contract include half-percent increases to employer contributions to the DGA Health & Pension Plan in the second and third year of the current contract, which expires in 2026. Directors for dramatic pay TV and high budget streaming titles will also now receive the same pay increases as other directors in the contract while reduced pay rates for third assistant directors, associate directors and unit production managers working on pilots and shows in their first two seasons will be lifted. The union secured the end of weekly caps on daily production fees for associate directors and stage managers on non-primetime TV shows.

While it is not uncommon for Hollywood guilds to negotiate with AMPTP to secure gains won by other guilds, the DGA was able to get nearly the same streaming bonuses for directors that the WGA won for writers without having to wait until 2026 for the next round of negotiations.

““Our work to protect and extend your creative and economic rights is never finished. These contract enhancements are the result of months of advocacy and difficult discussions with the AMPTP. We will never stop fighting for you,” Hollander said.

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