Script coordinators now have access to union and guild representation across Canada
Toronto, ON – September 11, 2023: The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and IATSE have reached a historic, national agreement to represent script coordinators working in the Canadian film and television industry, through all stages of production, including development.
Script coordinating is an entry-level position, usually for aspiring screenwriters. In recent years, the positions have often been staffed by workers from underrepresented communities, including writers who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC). The trend towards smaller writing rooms (also referred to as “mini-rooms”) has resulted in these workers handling more tasks than was previously the norm. Script coordinators are now assigned a variety of functions including creative duties in writers’ rooms like script polishes and consultations, and administrative duties like copy editing, formatting, and distributing scripts on a production.
Under the terms of the agreement, individuals working in the writers’ room whose duties are primarily administrative in nature will fall under IATSE’s jurisdiction. If their duties are primarily creative in nature, they will fall under the WGC’s jurisdiction. Individuals assigned both administrative and creative tasks will be concurrently represented, where IATSE represents the administrative work and WGC represents the creative work. Other items outlined include an agreement to review fees, and to collaborate on training and professional development.
“Workers are best protected when they are members of a union or guild,” says Writers Guild of Canada Executive Director Victoria Shen. “We hope this agreement will protect young writers and provide them with the benefit of union representation as they are coming up and building their careers in our industry. We’re grateful to WGC members and BIPOC TV & Film for raising their voices on this important issue.”
“Whether entry-level or otherwise, all work has value,” said IATSE Director of Canadian Affairs John Lewis, “and the people performing that work deserve to have a voice. The IATSE is pleased to welcome these workers, and we are looking forward to a collaborative relationship with the WGC. Our voice is strongest when we speak together.”
The full agreement is available here. For more information, contact the WGC’s Manager of Communications Emily Saso at email@example.com, or IATSE International Representative Krista Hurdon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IATSE represents 34,000 behind-the-scenes workers in Canada’s entertainment industry, spanning film, television, animation, and live entertainment. iatsecanada.net @IATSECANADA
ABOUT THE WRITERS GUILD OF CANADA
The Writers Guild of Canada represents 2,500 professional English-language screenwriters across Canada—the creators of Canadian entertainment enjoyed on all screens. wgc.ca @WGCTweet