The Animation Guild has tentatively reached a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) following prolonged negotiations that prompted the guild’s first rally in decades.
Announced on Friday, the deal provides “significant gains for animation writers,” including wage increases, the addition of MLK Day as a recognized holiday, and the creator of a Labor-Management Cooperative Committee that will help pave “a path forward for Union-covered remote work.”
In recent months, the Animation Guild mounted a notable campaign on social media using the hashtags #NewDeal4Animation and #PayAnimationWriters, as the guild negotiates separate from the 13 West Coast Locals covered under IATSE’s Basic Agreement, which was ratified last November. However, TAG and other IATSE Locals share health and pension plans so the animators’ tentative deal shares certain elements with the Basic Agreement, though it will have to be put to a ratification vote in late June.
“I am incredibly proud of The Animation Guild members who volunteered their time and energy to the Negotiations Committee,” TAG business representative Steve Kaplan said in a statement. “The proposals we brought to the employers focused on making the work lives of our members better, and we have made significant progress towards achieving those goals. A #NewDeal4Animation does not stop today, we will continue to fight for the rights and benefits our members deserve, as well as ensuring all animation workers across the U.S. can use their collective voice to make similar change.”
The Animation Guild had previously stated that its writers make 26 to 66 percent less per freelance script for an animated half-hour scripted series than live-action WGA writers, and between $1,900 and $2,995 less per week than staff writers on half-hour scripted series.
Many guild members shared stories of financial difficulties on social media, where industry heavyweights such as Guillermo del Toro (Puss in Boots), Phil Lord (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Bojack Horseman), and John August (Corpse Bride) also issued statements of support.