The Writers Guild’s highly anticipated 2023 contract negotiations are set to begin in less than a month.
Bargaining will begin on the WGA’s successor pact to its minimum basic agreement on March 20, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announced on Wednesday. “The AMPTP is fully committed to reaching a fair and reasonable deal that brings strength and stability to the industry,” the group — which negotiates on behalf of studios and streamers with industry unions — said in a statement.
The WGA West confirmed the start date of negotiations on Wednesday. The Guild’s minimum basic agreement is currently set to expire on May 1.
As THR previously reported, WGA leaders have held several meetings for members so far to receive feedback on their initial bargaining agenda. Major items up for discussion in those talks, the next of which is scheduled for Thursday, have been establishing a minimum staff size for television series, establishing a minimum length of employment for television series and improving residuals for film and television writers.
The Guild has also been mobilizing members internally, assigning contract captains — volunteers who communicate with peers during negotiations — who have already reached out to some members. Meanwhile, employers have been expediting the start dates of writers rooms in anticipation of a potential strike, as THR previously reported.
The decision potentially positions the WGA as the first major guild to begin their negotiations with the AMPTP in 2023, even as major contracts for SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America will also expire in several months, on June 30. THR has reached out to SAG-AFTRA and the DGA for comment.
The WGA’s 2023 negotiations have sparked widespread speculation about a potential strike when the contract expires in May. In this environment, the Guild itself has advised members to “take rumors and ‘insider’ commentary with a grain of salt.”