Yesterday marked the end of the first week of the Writer's Guild negotiations with the AMPTP. The DGA has already concluded their negotiations, finishing up before the New Year. While we wait to see what happens next with the WGA, here are some takeaways regarding preparing for negotiations:
Plan, plan, and plan some more. Dig into the details to understand things. Start early.
Put together proposals that have enough detail to be implemented. Remember there are two sides in every negotiation, look for ways both sides can find a positive.
Here's what the WGA, East has to say about preparing for contract negotiation. And here's what the WGA, West did in preparation for the talks.
Know the history and the current contract. It wasn't bargained in a vacuum.
Build consensus with your fellow Guild members. Be visible, but not necessarily predictable.
Get a committee together - the WGA has announced a negotiating committee that includes 32 members, including some board members and some former officers. This committee will represent the interests of their 13,000+ member guild.
Interested in more? Check out this 2012 article from Jillian Morphis, former student at Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution - "How to Avoid Strikes and Still Promote Members' Needs".
Or, this article from the American Bar about what happened in 2007 and 2008.
Start thinking about ideas. Use your co-workers as sounding boards. Read the news, stay informed and connected. Spring 2018 will be here before you know it.