After a heated competition that raised questions about the future of digital journalists in the union, the Writers Guild of America East released the results of its most recent Council election.
Josh Gondelman, Sasha Stewart, Liz Hynes, Lauren Ashley Smith, Benjamin Rosenblum, Tracey Scott Wilson, David Simon and Tian Jun Gu hold six independent positions and three independent positions are held by Kim Kelly, Sara David and Hamilton Nolan, the union revealed on Tuesday . Former WGA East President between 2007 and 2017 and current Council Member Michael Winship were elected President, Council Member Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was elected Vice President and former Council Member Christopher Kyle was elected President. elected secretary-treasurer after the three presented themselves without opposition.
Just over 30 percent of the Guild’s roughly 7,000 eligible members voted in an election that energized union voters. In 2020, only about 12% of union members voted in this year’s Council election.
These results follow a heated battle between two lists of candidates – the Inclusion and Experience ticket and the Solidarity List – on the future of digital media organization within the Guild. Inclusion and Experience, which has supported senior officer candidates and nine board candidates, argued that a demographic shift in the union through aggressive organizing in digital media will soon reduce film and TV screenwriters to half of all members. (The union does not confirm the numbers proposed by either list.)
Candidates for inclusion and experience wanted to restructure the union so that “each segment can handle its own issues independently,” its platform said, when members were asked. Solidarity Slate, on the other hand, backing seven candidates for the board, argued that the organization’s continued organization of digital newsrooms is essential to maintaining and amplifying the power of the union as well as improving members’ workplaces. digital journalists. “Now that we already have a lot of media people in our union, it is important that we continue to organize the ENTIRE industry,” the candidates said on their platform.
The results mark a major victory for the Soldarity Slate, with all seven candidates elected in Tuesday’s election. Candidates for inclusion and experience managed to land four seats, in addition to the three main officer seats.
This year, MSNBC editorial staff officially voted to unionize with the Guild, which also announced that Jigsaw Productions employees had “overwhelmingly signed union cards” to organize with them. After a strike, the Guild also reached an agreement with ITV on ABC’s The hunt, which is now covered by the union’s minimum base agreement.
With a two-year term ahead of them, the new senior union leaders and board members will lead the Guild both through the identity issues regarding digital journalists that many board candidates have raised in their campaigns and its sessions. next negotiations on the Minimum Base Agreement in 2023. After current president Beau Willimon decided not to run again this year after four years in the post, Winship, initially reluctant, was persuaded by other union members to run for the job. During the campaign he said Hollywood journalist that when he takes office he will work with the editors of Solidarity Slate “keeping in mind how we can all work together and move forward in a very positive and positive way.”
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