MEREDITH STIEHM FOR WGA BOARD
2017 CANDIDATE STATEMENT
This is my Second Candidate’s Statement – if you care to read the first one from 2015, you can find it here.
First, thanks for electing me last time round. I love being on the Board; it’s a privilege and honor, and I hope to continue to serve in the next two years.
There is a steep learning curve in absorbing all the issues that the Guild takes on -- I get a monthly education at those meetings. I’ve also gained invaluable experience by serving on three committees this term –- the Board Nominating Committee, Officer Nominating Committee (co-chair), and the Negotiating Committee. Having learned the ropes a bit by now, I think I can be even more effective in a second term.
I refer to my statement two years ago because my three main interests for improving the lot of writers remain the same: Negotiations, Women Writers and Packaging.
NEGOTIATIONS. I was on the Negotiating Committee this year. It was tense, time-consuming, complicated. The AMPTP is a rough opponent, and didn’t give one inch or one penny without protracted resistance. I have a very bad reaction to people trying to give me a raw deal, and that’s what I felt they were doing to us. So I was a pretty tireless advocate to fight hard -- for fair pay on short seasons, Options/Exclusivity reform, Diversity, Parental Leave. I think I was a valuable voice in the room, and an effective, steady member of that team.
As for the deal -- we worked right up to the midnight deadline, and got what we felt we could without a strike. I personally wish we had gotten more. The whole process reinforced my belief that organized labor is important, powerful, and necessary for workers. The unity of our members even when things got scary (96.3% in favor for Strike Authorization!) made me proud to be in this Guild. Union now, union forever.
WOMEN WRITERS. I have been a consistent voice for women writers in the Board meetings, and on my other committees. I think it helps to keep offering up my POV, so we and other underrepresented writers are remembered, considered, valued. Women are still a minority on the Board, so I hope there are even more of us in the chorus next year. If I am re-elected, I promise to keep speaking up, trying to affect change in our direction -- as Abigail Adams wrote, to Remember the Ladies.
PACKAGING. I continue to believe that packaging is a racket. It’s unfair to writers, and a conflict of interest for agents. The Guild can be instrumental in changing this, and I will happily roll up my sleeves to help that effort.
Thanks for reading -- please come to Candidate’s Night (Aug 31st) –- and vote!