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Pay increases, AI provisions included in Writers Guild of Canada labour deal

The Writers Guild of Canada has ratified its new three-year contract with the Canadian Media Producers Association. (Writers Guild of Canada logo) The Writers Guild of Canada has ratified its new three-year contract with the Canadian Media Producers Association. (Writers Guild of Canada logo)
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The Writers Guild of Canada has ratified a new three-year contract that increases pay and implements artificial intelligence protections for writers, story editors and story consultants.

The new Independent Production Agreement with the Canadian Media Producers Association came into effect Wednesday.

It raises live action script fees by five per cent, four per cent and 3.5 per cent over the next three years. Meanwhile, animation script fees will increase by five per cent, 11.5 per cent and 3.6 per cent over the same period.

New minimum staffing requirements begin Jan. 1, 2025, when the deal mandates two story editors for the bulk of principal photography on one-hour productions with budgets over $2.5 million and half-hour productions with budgets over $1.5 million.

Producers must also disclose and adhere to the labour deal when hiring writers to work with AI-generated content, and also maintain existing writer credits and compensation. 

The CMPA represents independent creators in film, television and digital content, while the WGC represents 2,500 English-language screenwriters across the country.

The pay increases mean that writers on a live action half-hour show will see their pay go up by $467 to reach $9,797 in the first year, and by $1,216 to reach $10,546 in the third year.

Writers on a one-hour live action show get a $933 first-year bump to reach $19,591, and $2,430 more in the third year to reach $21,088.

The deal also includes broader protections against workplace discrimination and harassment. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2024

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