The Directors Guild of Canada BC has reached a tentative agreement for a new contract covering films and TV shows shot in British Columbia.
“As of this afternoon, the DGC BC has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP and the Canadian Media Producers Association,” the guild said in a statement. “We are finalizing the language of the memorandum of agreement and will release further details as soon as that’s completed.”
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The agreement ends an unusual labor dispute that saw the guild issue a “strike notice” back in April but never actually go on strike due to a quirk in Canadian labor law, which gives “safe harbor” to production companies that allows them to keep on shooting as long as they agree to sign a new contract when it’s finalized. All those companies that had been filming there had signed safe harbor agreements and now would be bound by the terms of the new contract.
Filming wasn’t affected anywhere else in Canada, either. In Toronto, which like British Columbia is also a major filming destination, directors and their crews are represented by a different DGC district council, which has its own separate contracts and wasn’t threatening to go on strike.
Prior to the settlement, the guild said that the key issues that remained unsolved included:
• Minimum wage differentials: as minimum wage increases, so should all wage rates of lower-paid positions.
• Payment terms for Covid testing.
• Retroactivity of wage increases to the expiry of the last collective agreement.
• The negotiating producers’ demands for further concessions
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