US writers guild secures Lion TV agreement

The Writers Guild of America East has secured a new three-year contract with the US arm of All3Media-owned unscripted prodco Lion TV.

The contract includes significant increases in minimum pay rates, a short wait for freelancers to be eligible for health benefits and provision to clarify the start of paid time on field production days.

The agreement also means associate producers and other non-exempt employees will receive time and a half pay for all time worked after 40 hours in a week.

Payment and working conditions have become a hotbed topic in the US, with the WGAE in November setting up picket lines in a dispute with ITV America-owned Leftfield Entertainment.

Nearly 900 writer-producers recently signed a WGAE petition calling on unscripted prodcos to bargain fair minimum pay rates, safety and scheduling standards, paid time off and healthcare benefits.

Besides Lion TV and Leftfield, the Guild represents writer-producers at Original Media, Kirkstall Road Enterprises, Sharp Entertainment and Optomen Productions.

Lion TV

US, which is a subsidiary of UK-based Lion TV, produces shows such as Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab, PBS’s History Detectives and Investigation Discovery’s Dead on Arrival.

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