(b) rendering managerial services relating to the project for a network, syndicated television station(s), basic cable or pay television system, a studio, or the like, or
(c) employed as a player on the project, shall not utilize this assignment, option or sale to qualify for membership in the Guild unless such script is produced and the individual receives writing credit on screen in the form of "Written by," "Teleplay by," "Screenplay by," or (audio credit) "Radio Play by."
(v) Exceptions to the Three-Year Rule
In exceptional cases, the Board of Directors, acting upon a recommendation from the Membership and Finance Committee, shall have the power and authority to grant admission to Current membership based on units earned prior to three (3) years before the membership application was filed.
If three (3) or fewer writers are employed to write literary material for the same comedy-variety program for television, each writer shall be accorded the number of units for teleplay applicable to a program of the same duration (as may be adjusted pursuant to the "applicable time period" provisions in Appendix A of the MBA).
If more than three (3) writers are employed to write literary material for the same comedy-variety program for television, each writer shall be accorded the number of units for teleplay applicable to a program of the same duration but multiplied by a fraction the numerator of which is one and the denominator of which is the number of writers minus two. For example, if there are five (5) writers employed, the multiplier would be one-third (1/3); if there are ten (10) writers, the multiplier would be one-eighth (1/8).
(vii) Documentaries and Informational Programming
Telescripts for documentaries and literary material for informational programming shall be accorded the number of units for teleplay applicable to a program of the same duration (as may be adjusted pursuant to the "applicable time period" provisions in Appendix A of the MBA).
Any person employed as a radio or television news writer, editor, desk assistant or in another job classification covered under the "WGA-CBS National Staff Agreement" (or successor collective bargaining agreement) may be admitted to Current membership in the Guild after thirty (30) days of employment in such bargaining unit.
f. Duration of Current Membership
A writer admitted to the Guild as a new Current member shall retain Current membership for a period of not less than seven (7) consecutive years. If he/she achieves one (1) or more employments or sales (as defined in Section A.4 of this Article) without regard to the units assigned to such employment or sale during the initial seven (7) year period, Current membership will be extended for an additional four (4) years from the end of the calendar quarter in which the first such covered earnings are declared to the Guild for dues purposes. Subsequent four (4) year extensions of Current membership shall be granted on the same basis.
During the initial seven-year period the Current member shall be conclusively presumed to be seeking work at the trade. If a Current member does not achieve one (1) employment or sale (as defined in Section A.4 of this Article) during the initial seven (7) year period, it shall be conclusively presumed that the person is no longer seeking work at the trade. In this event, the person shall become an Emeritus member unless this person elects to become a Post-Current member.
g. Lifetime Current
Notwithstanding Section 4.f. above, any Current member who for an aggregate of fifteen (15) years has declared to the Guild covered earnings (excluding residuals) in each such year equivalent to the then-prevailing qualified earnings for the WGA-Industry Health Fund shall maintain or be reinstated to Current membership for life, provided he/she pays dues and assessments in accordance with Article VIII. This provision shall be effective on the date of the membership vote approving its amendment into the Constitution of this Guild.
h. Eligibility of Non-Resident Writers for Current Membership
The Board of Directors shall have the power to admit to Current membership any writer not a resident of the United States who performs writing services under the Guild's jurisdiction and who is an Active or Current member in good standing of any organization of writers which: (i) includes among its purposes and powers representation of the professional and economic interests of writers employed outside the United States, (ii) does not purport to represent writers employed in the United States, and (iii) has adopted provisions substantially identical to this Section with regard to members of this Guild.
Upon commencement of work in this Guild's jurisdiction such non-resident writers shall apply for and may be admitted to membership in this Guild without the obligation to pay the initiation fee specified in Article VIII, Section A.1 of this Constitution although all other financial obligations specified in Article VIII shall apply.
i. Insurance Benefits
Any member who does not continue Current membership by reason of Section 4.f. above shall remain a Current member for the sole purpose of participating in any voluntary member-paid insurance benefits which the Guild may obtain.
Section 5. Post-Current Membership
Summary Definition: Post-Current Membership is for writers who no longer qualify for Current membership and choose to receive certain Guild services in exchange for payment of an annual service fee.
A Current member may elect to become a Post-Current member at any time while Current or at the time this person becomes no longer eligible for Current membership. Post-Current membership is available to each such writer for an unlimited number of years. As of the effective date of this amendment, any person in the category of Emeritus may elect to become a Post-Current member with the rights and obligations described in Section 5.b. below.
A Post-Current member who is employed to write literary material or who sells such material (as defined in Article IV, Section A.4), without regard to units assigned to this employment or sale, shall automatically be deemed to have requested and received transfer to Current membership for a four (4) year period.
b. Rights and Obligations of Post-Current Members
Post-Current members shall receive all Guild mailings and communications, including the WGA Journal or like publication and the WGA Manual and its periodic updates; may serve on certain Guild committees as designated by the Board of Directors; may use the Guild's Script Registration Service at the reduced rate for Guild members; may join the Guild's Film Society subject to availability in any given year as determined by the Board; may become members of the Inter-Guild Credit Union or its successor subject to the discretion of that entity's governing body; and may be entitled to participate, if otherwise eligible, in any employment access program administered by the Guild's Human Resources Department.
In consideration for these rights and benefits, a Post-Current member shall pay an annual service fee to the Guild at the initial rate of $75.00. The Board of Directors may increase the service fee on an annual basis, commencing no sooner than one year after the effective date of this Section A.5., if the Board determines an increase is justified by the increased cost of services provided.
Post-Current members shall not pay the dues, bookkeeping fees or special assessments described in Article VIII.
Post-Current members shall not have the right to vote, to run for office or to attend Guild membership meetings held pursuant to Article VII. However, Post-Current members may attend membership meetings and vote on the issuance or withdrawal of restraining orders, but only when such member's legal commitment to render writing services or to sell or option literary material within the Guild's jurisdiction to a company signatory to an applicable WGA collective bargaining contract would be directly affected.
Section 6. Emeritus Membership
Summary Definition: Emeritus membership is for writers who no longer qualify for Current membership and do not choose Post-Current membership, or for writers who no longer qualify for Post-Current membership.
A Current member shall become an Emeritus member at the time this person becomes no longer eligible for Current membership unless Post-Current membership has been chosen. A Post-Current member will be re-classified to Emeritus upon expiration of any one-year period for which the annual service fee has been paid in the absence of the member's election to continue in the category of Post-Current and payment of the next annual service fee. Emeritus membership is available for a maximum of seven (7) years. An Emeritus member will be reclassified to Withdrawn status upon expiration of the seven-year period of Emeritus membership.
An Emeritus member who is employed to write literary material or who sells such material (as defined in this Article IV., Section A.4), without regard to units assigned to this employment or sale, shall automatically be deemed to have requested and received transfer to Current membership for a four (4) year period.
b. Rights and Obligations of Emeritus Members
Emeritus members shall have the right to serve on certain Guild committees and to receive such Guild communications, as designated by the Board of Directors. Emeritus members shall not pay dues or have the right to run for Guild office, attend membership meetings or vote (except they may vote on restraining orders, but only when such member's legal commitment to render writing services or to sell or option literary material within the Guild's jurisdiction to a company signatory to an applicable WGA collective bargaining agreement would be directly affected).
The right of Emeritus members to receive any other benefits of the Guild may be restricted or modified by circumstances or conditions beyond the control of the Guild such as, by way of example but not limitation, any restrictions imposed in connection with a Federal Credit Union.
B. WITHDRAWN STATUS
Section 1. General
Any member of this Guild who intends to suspend writing in all fields over which the Guild exercises jurisdiction may request Withdrawn status, unless this person is In Arrears or Suspended. The Board of Directors may restore a person in Withdrawn status retroactively or otherwise to his/her previous category of membership for good cause after notice to such person.
A formerly Current member who elects Withdrawn status but then is employed to write, or who sells literary material (as defined in Article IV., Section A.4), without regard to units assigned to this employment or sale, shall automatically be deemed to have requested and received transfer to Current membership for a four (4) year period.
An Associate or Emeritus member whose eligibility for such membership has expired also will be transferred to Withdrawn status.
Any member whose eligibility for membership is dependent solely upon work in a bargaining unit no longer represented by the Guild also will be transferred to Withdrawn status, unless this person is In Arrears or Suspended.
Section 2. Rights and Obligations of Persons in Withdrawn Status
Persons in Withdrawn status shall not pay dues, vote, attend membership meetings, serve on committees, run for Guild office or receive Guild communications (except they shall be mailed notices of membership meetings and notices or communications relating to collective bargaining negotiations, strikes, work rules and strike rules).
A person in Withdrawn status shall keep the Guild's Membership Department informed of the person's current address. Persons in Withdrawn status may enjoy such other benefits of membership as the Board of Directors may from time to time make available to them.
C. IN ARREARS STATUS
Members placed in In Arrears status pursuant to Article VIII, Section A.4 shall not be entitled to attend meetings, to vote, to sit on committees, to run for or hold Guild office, or to receive Guild communications (except that they shall be mailed notices or communications relating to collective bargaining negotiations, strikes, work rules and strike rules).
D. MEMBERS IN SUSPENDED STATUS
Any member suspended pursuant to Article VIII.A.4.b. or Article X of this Constitution shall during the suspension period be deprived of all the rights and privileges of membership. A Suspended member may not be deprived of any right to which such member would otherwise be entitled as against a signatory company or agent by reason of any contract or other agreement with the Guild. The foregoing shall in no way preclude or inhibit the Guild from invoking any provision contained in any agreement it has if such provision applies to a Suspended member.
E. CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP CATEGORY OR STATUS
Changes in membership category or status shall take place immediately in accordance with the requirements and limitations of this Article IV. The Membership and Finance Committee shall report to the Board changes in membership category or status which shall be subject to the Board's review.
After the conclusion of an extensive work stoppage duly authorized by the Guild, the Board may extend the seven-year and/or four-year periods in this Article IV, subpart A., Section 4.f. (Duration of Current Membership) by no more than the number of weeks of the applicable work stoppage.
By accepting membership in the Guild each writer agrees that the continuation of membership and the applicability of discipline to all members, especially during times of negotiation with employers or during strikes, is essential to the welfare of members and necessary for solidarity and to achieve the objectives of the Guild. Each member therefore agrees with the other members to be subject to discipline pursuant to Article X, and to the following resignation procedures:
No member's resignation shall be effective unless tendered in writing, signed by the member, and personally delivered to and receipted for by an officer or employee of the Guild or mailed by certified or registered mail to the Board of Directors. The Board may at its first regular meeting after the tender of resignation request the member to reinstate and continue membership. If the member then chooses to reinstate and remain in the Guild, his/her rights and privileges shall not be impaired because resignation had been tendered.
Back to Top
Nominations of Officers and Members of the Board of Directors; Elections; Vacancies; Recall
Section 1. Procedures for Board Nominations by Committee
Except as provided in Article V.B.5.c. regarding emergency elections, the following procedures shall govern nominations:
a. Not later than May 15 of each year the Board of Directors shall appoint a nominating committee of eleven (11) Current members in good standing, two (2) of whom shall be members of the Board and nine (9) of whom shall not. Each nominating committee member shall have been a Current member of the Guild in good standing for twelve (12) consecutive months prior to appointment by the Board. The Board shall seek nominating committee members from various work areas within the Guild's jurisdiction.
b. Not later than May first of each year there shall be a notice to Current members in good standing, Associate and Post-Current members, asking them to suggest nominees for the Board. All nominees sug¬gested by the membership shall be considered by the nominating committee.
c. Not later than June 21, the nominating committee shall deliver to the Executive Director the names of at least two (2) nominees for each place to be filled by vote of the membership at the next annual meeting. The nominating committee shall seek nominees from various work areas within the Guild's jurisdiction. Members of this nominating committee are not eligible to be nominated for the Board by the committee but may run by petition.
Section 2. Procedures for Officer Nominations by Committee
a. Not later than May 15 in odd-numbered years, the Board of Directors shall appoint a nominating committee of seven (7) Current members in good standing, four (4) of whom shall have been officers or Board members, and not more than two (2) of whom shall be present officers or Board members, to select nominees for the offices of President, Vice-President and Secretary- Treasurer. Members of this nominating committee are not eligible to be nominated for an officer position by the committee but may run by petition.
b. Not later than June 21, the nominating committee shall deliver to the Executive Director the names of at least two (2) nominees for each office.
Section 3. Vacancies Among Nominees Designated by Committee
If on or before July 20, any vacancy occurs which results in fewer than two (2) committee designated nominees for any office, such vacancy may be filled by the Board or, at the Board's direction, by the previously appointed nominating committee. No election shall be considered invalid because such vacancy is not filled.
Section 4. Nominations by Petition
a. Any fifty (50) or more Current members in good standing may nominate a candidate for President, Vice-President or Secretary-Treasurer.
b. Any twenty-five (25) or more Current members in good standing may nominate a candidate for the Board of Directors.
c. A nominating petition for any candidate must be filed with the Executive Director no later than July 23 of that election year. Each candidate's name and office sought must appear on each page of the petition containing members' signatures.
Section 5. Qualifications of Nominees
a. No member shall be nominated as an officer or Board member who will not have been a Current member in good standing for twelve (12) consecutive months immediately before the ballot count. No person shall be eligible for simultaneous nomination to the Board and to any officer position other than as President. No person shall be eligible for nomination to more than one officer position. Votes cast for the same person in conflict with this Section 5.a. shall be counted only for the highest office.
b. No member shall be eligible to serve a fifth consecutive term as a Board member or to serve a third consecutive term in the same officer position. This limitation on consecutive terms for incumbent Board members and officers does not prohibit:
(1) A member from being eligible for a fifth term as a Board member after a break in service on the Board of no less than two years;
(2) A member from being eligible for a third term in the same officer position after a break in service in that same office of no less than two years;
(3) A member who has served four consecutive terms as a Board member from being eligible for an officer position without a break in service;
(4) A member who has served two consecutive terms in the same officer position from being eligible for a different officer position without a break in service; or
(5) A member who has served two consecutive terms in the same officer position from being eligible for Board member without a break in service.
These qualifications shall be applied retroactively.
For purposes of this Section 5.b., appointment or election to fill a vacancy shall not count as a term.
Section 6. Election Notices and Ballots
a. Not later than July first of each year, the Executive Director shall send copies of the lists of nominees desig¬nated by the nominating committees to all Current members in good standing, Associate and Post-Current members. This notice also shall include copies of provisions of this Constitution concerning qualifications of nominees and candidacy by petition (Article V, Subpart A, Sections 4 and 5). Also to be included are the rules and procedures determined by the Board for candidates’ and non-candidates’ statements, and other election notices.
b. Not later than July 23 of each year, candidate statements shall be submitted to the Guild for inclusion with the Guild’s election notice. Such statements shall be made available at the Guild to all Current members for no less than a three-day period (two of which shall be business days) one week after the deadline for their submission.
Not later than August 8 of each year, non-candidate statements shall be submitted to the Guild for inclu¬sion with the Guild’s election notice. Such statements may be submitted only by non-candidates who are Current members in good standing. The Board shall fix a reasonable cost for postage and handling that is charged on a uniform basis.
Not later than August 15 of each year, candidates may submit to the Guild rebuttal statements to a candidate or non-candidate statement for inclusion with the Guild’s election notice. The Board shall fix a reasonable cost for postage and handling that is charged on a uniform basis.
Each Current member in good standing shall have access to the Guild’s address list for other election communications. The Board shall fix a reasonable cost for distribution that is charged on a uniform basis.
All statements when sent to the membership shall include all the names of those members making the statement.
c. Not later than August 31 of each year, the Executive Director shall send to all Current members in good standing an election notice containing the names of all candidates, without designating whether nominated by a nominating committee or by petition. The election notice shall contain instructions for voting by mail or online, and shall provide for the casting of write-in votes. The packet containing the notice shall be sent in the manner prescribed by the Board of Directors, provided that no Current member shall be denied the right to request delivery of the packet by mail.
d. The Board may establish other rules and procedures for candidate statements, non-candidate state¬ments, and other election materials.
Section 1. Time and Place
The voting period for the election of officers and Board members shall conclude at noon on the twentieth (20th) day after the Guild sends the election notice. This provision is subject to Section B.5.c. concerning emergency elections.
Section 2. Voting
Each Current member in good standing shall have the right to cast one (1) vote for each office and each place to be filled on the Board. Members may vote by mail or online but not by proxy.
Any vote cast for a person who is not eligible under Article V, subpart A, Section 5. shall not be counted.
Within 24 hours after the end of the voting period, a tellers committee shall meet to count the ballots using procedures that comport with legal requirements.
Section 3. Election Committee
The Board shall appoint an Election Committee to oversee the conduct of the election. The Election Committee shall consist of three Current members in good standing, none of whom may be currently serving as or running to become an Officer or member of the Board of Directors.
Any post-election objection to the conduct of the election must be presented to the Election Committee in writing within 15 calendar days after the ballot count. The Election Committee shall investigate the objection and make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding its disposition. No member may pursue a legal or administrative claim challenging the outcome of an election without first presenting the objection to the Election Committee in accordance with this section.
Section 4. Officers of the Guild
a. The President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected in odd-numbered years for a term of two (2) years.
b. To be elected an officer a candidate must receive a majority of the valid votes cast. If no candidate receives a majority, the Board, in a duly authorized telephone poll or at its next regular or special meeting following the initial round of voting, shall order a runoff election between the two (2) candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for the same office. If there are such candidates with an equal number of votes, they shall be included in the runoff election.
Notwithstanding the first sentence of this Section 4.b., the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes in a runoff election shall be declared the winner.
There shall be no provision for write-in candidates in a runoff election, and any name written in shall invalidate the vote for that office.
A runoff election for one or more officer positions shall be held no later than six weeks after the ballot count in the first round of voting. Candidate statements shall be submitted to the Guild for inclusion in the Guild’s election notice. The Board may establish other rules and procedures for candidate statements, including deadlines for their submission to the Guild.
There shall be no access by non-candidates to the Guild’s address list for campaign communications for a runoff election. Subject to the mutual prior agreement of all candidates for the same officer position in a runoff election, there shall be no additional access by candidates to the Guild’s address list for campaign communications. If such agreement does not occur, the Guild may impose reasonable restrictions on candidates’ access to the address list consistent with legal requirements.
Section 5. Members of the Board of Directors
a. The Board of Directors shall (subject to Article V.B.4.b.) consist of sixteen (16) members. Eight (8) shall be elected each year for a term of two (2) years.
The eight (8) candidates for the Board receiving the highest vote shall be elected.
b. If there is a tie vote for eighth place among the candidates, all candidates receiving an equal number of votes for the eighth place shall be elected.
Section 6. Vacancies on the Board
a. The Board shall have the right to fill temporary and/or permanent vacancies on the Board totaling no more than three (3) by appointing the unsuccessful candidate in the last election who received the most votes. The appointment(s) shall be of an unsuccessful candidate(s) presently able and willing to serve.
b. Should more than three (3) but less than seven (7) vacancies on the Board accumulate between annual elections, the Board shall have the right either to fill not more than three (3) vacancies by appointment in the manner described in the preceding Section 6.a., or to call a special election to fill each position on the Board which was not filled by appointment before the next annual election.
c. Should seven (7) or more vacancies accumulate between annual elections, the Board may call an emer¬gency election, and the Board shall determine expedited procedures to complete this election as soon as possible. The emergency election shall fill all Board positions not filled by appointment under Section 6.a. or 6.b. above before the next annual election.
d. The requirements of Sections 6.b. and 6.c. above may be suspended by the Board if less than ninety (90) days remain between the occurrence of the last vacancy and the next annual election. In this instance all remaining vacancies shall be filled at the next annual election.
e. Board member(s) appointed under the preceding Section 6.a. or 6.b. may serve only until the next annual election. If the term of the member so replaced has not expired at the time of the annual election , the candidate receiving the ninth highest number of votes in the annual election shall be elected to fill such vacancy and shall hold office only until the term shall expire. The unexpired term for a second or third such vacant position would be filled in the annual election by the candidate receiving the tenth or eleventh highest number of votes, respectively.
If there is a tie vote to fill the last vacancy on the Board, all candidates receiving an equal number of votes for this last vacancy shall be elected.
f. Members elected to the Board at an emergency election under Section 6.c. above shall hold office until the term of the members replaced expires. Candidates receiving the largest total vote in an emergency elec¬tion shall serve the longest remaining terms of office.
Section 7. Vacancies Among Officers
Should there be a permanent vacancy in the Presidency of the Guild, the Vice-President shall succeed to the Presidency and serve until the next election of officers. A permanent vacancy in the office of Vice-President may be filled by the Board appointment of any Current member who meets the qualifications set forth in Article V, Subpart A, Section 5. The member so appointed may serve only until the next annual election. If the next annual election occurs in an even-numbered year, nominees shall run as if this election occurred in an odd-numbered year. The successful candidate shall serve out the balance of the previous Vice-President’s term. The Board shall fill a vacancy in the office of Secretary-Treasurer by appointment, with the advice of the Membership and Finance Committee, until the next regular election of officers.
Section 8. Authority of Replacements
Officers and Board members appointed or elected to fill any vacancy shall have the powers of officers and Board members regularly elected in any annual election.
C. TENURE OF OFFICE
Section 1. General
Any person elected pursuant to this Article V shall serve until the resignation, removal or disqualification of such person, or until the election of a successor.
Section 2. Absences
If any Board member or officer is absent from regular or special meetings of the Board on three (3) consecutive occasions, the Board may by a two-thirds (2/3) vote declare his/her position vacant. All absences of Board members shall be recorded on a cumulative basis in the Board's minutes.
Section 1. General
Any officer or Board member may be recalled at any time by a duly conducted vote of the membership in accord with the procedures in this Article V., Subpart D. If any officer or member of the Board shall be recalled pursuant to this Article V., Subpart D, the resulting vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided in Article V, Subpart B., Section 6 or 7.
Section 2. Procedures for Recall of an Officer
Upon a written petition for recall signed by at least three hundred (300) Current members in good standing being filed with the Board, a special meeting of the membership shall be called. A majority of the Current members in good standing of the Guild voting, whether by mail, online or in person, by secret ballot at such special meeting, shall be sufficient to recall an officer of the Guild, provided that a quorum was established during the meeting. Mail and online ballots shall be counted toward a quorum.
Section 3. Procedures for Recall of a Board Member
Upon a written petition for recall signed by at least two hundred (200) Current members in good standing being filed with the Board, a special meeting of the membership shall be called. A majority of the Current members in good standing voting, whether by mail, online or in person, by secret ballot at such meeting, shall be sufficient to recall a member of the Board of Directors, provided that a quorum was established during the meeting. Mail and online ballots shall be counted toward a quorum.
Back to Top
Board of Directors Meetings; Rights and Obligations of Guild Officers
A. BOARD MEETINGS
Section 1. Regular Meetings
The Board of Directors shall hold its regular meetings at the Guild offices not less than once a month, each such meeting to occur regularly on a given day of a given week in each month. The Board, in its first meeting following the annual election, shall determine the times for regular Board meetings. Notice of regular Board meetings shall be given to Board members and officers by mail, by telephone or by whatever alternative technologies are available to give such notice.
Section 2. Special Meetings
Special Board meetings shall be held upon the written call of the President or upon the written call of a majority of members of the Board, delivered to the Executive Director. The call shall state the purpose of the special meeting. Upon the call of a special meeting, the Executive Director shall give written or oral notice of the time, place and purpose of the meeting to each member of the Board not less than thirty-six (36) hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin.
Special meetings also may be held pursuant to a majority vote of the Board at a regular Board meeting, provided that the motion specifies the time, place and purpose of the special meeting. The Executive Director then shall give notice as described in the preceding paragraph.
Section 3. Conduct of Meetings
A quorum for a meeting is obtained when a majority plus one (1) of Board members (including officers) then holding office meet in person. Acts of a majority of Board members at any duly called meeting of the Board at which a quorum has been present in person shall constitute acts of the Board, except as otherwise specified in this Constitution or in rules duly adopted by the Board for the conduct of its business. In no instance, however, shall an act of the Board be authorized by a motion supported by fewer than five (5) votes. A majority of the members and officers present at any meeting, whether a quorum shall be present or not, may adjourn the meeting to a fixed future date provided the motion to adjourn contains the time and place for reconvening the adjourned meeting. The date selected shall not extend beyond the next regular meeting of the Board. There shall be no voting of proxies at any Board meeting.