Below are some helpful hints from the Guild's department of Agreement Administration. See the WGC staff list for the name of the Agreement Administrator who is responsible for the collective agreement and project type you are working with. They are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your contract, your project or the agreement in general.
The checklist below will help you
- Know what your obligations are to the Guild as a member
- Assist us in the smooth administration of your project
- Recognize situations in which you should contact the Guild
What you should do as a member:
- Do not sign a contract with a producer who is not signatory to one of the Guild's collective agreements. We cannot protect you if you do.
- File a copy of your contract with the Guild once it has been signed. Although the producer is also obligated to file your contract, many of them do not. Without the contract on file, the WGC may not be aware of the existence of your project. They will not be able to verify that the terms you are working under meet the minimums of the relevant agreement, or that Insurance and Retirement contributions are being made on your behalf. (Note: Even though you may have agent working for you, most of them do not automatically file the contract on your behalf.)
- Advise the Agreement Administrator for your project when it is scheduled to go into production. Frequently, we are not informed by the producer. Under the Independent Production Agreement, credited writers are due a Production Fee on the first day of principal photography. The Agreement Administrator needs to know when to request the notification of writing credits and calculation of the Production Fee from your producer so that you will receive the appropriate fee on time.
- Advise the Guild when you deliver script material to a producer by using the Script Delivery Form. Not only does your delivery of material trigger payment to you, it also triggers the payment of fringe benefits on your behalf. Although working dues and RRSP withholdings may appear on your cheque stub from the producer, it does not necessarily mean that the producer has sent those amounts (and the engager contributions) in promptly. We only know to look for these payments from the producer if you let us know when you've delivered.
- When you receive your annual statement of earnings near the end of the year, check it over. This statement will only indicate amounts we've received fringe remittances on. If you have other earnings that should be present, we need to know. Omissions or inaccuracies will directly affect your insurance coverage for the following year.
When you should contact the department of Agreement Administration:
- Before you sign any contract -- to make sure the company contracting you is signatory to one of the Guild's collective agreements. Do not assume that because of the stature, activity level, or membership of the company in any other organization that they are signatory. Should you sign and the producer is not signatory, it is you who could face discipline, not the engager. And we will not be able to work on your behalf if the producer defaults on any terms of that contract, such as failing to pay you, rewriting your script, or taking your rightful credit.
- If you have not received a notification of writing credit and your project is within two weeks of going into production.
- If you have received notice of writing credit and you have an objection to it.
- If you have not been paid within 15 days of delivering your script material, or if you have not received your Production Fee on the first day of principal photography.
- If your annual statement of earnings contains errors or omissions.
- If your producer is not taking the appropriate withholdings for working dues and RRSP from your payments.
- If your script material is being rewritten without your permission.
- Any time you have questions or concerns about your contract.