The Directors Guild of America today announced that the National Board of Directors has approved a tentative new national commercial contract to be sent to the membership for ratification.

The agreement was negotiated with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, Inc (AICP) and covers a three-year term from December 1, 2014 – November 30, 2017.

Highlights of the agreement include:

► Wage increases of 2.75% in the first year of the contract and 3% in each of the second and third years of the contract;

► Increases in Employer contributions to the Pension Plan, including a 0.25% increase in the first year of the plan; and a significant increase in contributions to the Pension and Health Plans on behalf of directors employed by companies represented by the AICP, which will allow more directors to qualify for health coverage and increase retirement benefits;

► Establishment of a first-ever diversity program, to be developed and administered by the AICP, with the goal of expanding opportunities for commercial directors with an emphasis on increasing diversity.

Additionally, the DGA agreed to new low budget commercial provisions for companies represented by the AICP that will bring more work to DGA members by providing these companies with the flexibility to capture additional commercial projects. Additional provisions will increase work opportunities for members working outside of Los Angeles and New York.

Negotiations took place during three separate periods between July and October of this year with the AICP and were led by Associate National Executive Director/Eastern Executive Director Russ Hollander and a DGA member negotiations committee.

The DGA’s National Board voted unanimously at its regularly scheduled board meeting on Saturday to send the contract to the membership for ratification.

“Members working in commercials represent a strong and steady portion of the DGA membership, and this contract will secure and grow this area of work for years to come,” said DGA President Paris Barclay. “The Commercial Negotiations Committee, led by Russ Hollander, achieved a tremendous contract with significant benefits for our members.”

“It was important to secure a contract that would improve upon critical provisions, including wages and pension and health contributions, while understanding the changes taking place within the commercial industry,” said Hollander. “We’re especially pleased to have secured the first-ever commercial diversity program and look forward to working with the AICP to strengthen the diversity of this vibrant segment of our industry.”

The ratifications materials will be sent to members within the coming days and will be due back before the expiration of the current contract.