Council Elections

Overview of Council Elections

The 2020 Council election and Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Read more about the 2020 Council election

Council Election F.A.Q.

(Download the F.A.Q.)

What is the Council?

The Council is the governing body of the WGAE, consisting of 19 members (6 Staff and 13 Freelance), plus the three officers (President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer).

What is a Freelance member and what is a Staff member?

Freelance members work in screen, television and new media, and Staff members work in news shops—television, digital and radio—under the Guild’s jurisdiction.

What does the Council do?

The Council’s responsibilities include:

  • establishment of Guild policy and organizing objectives
  • management of funds and property of the Guild
  • appointment of Guild Trustees to the Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan and the Writers Guild-Industry Health Fund
  • the construction and interpretation of the provisions of the Guild’s Constitution and By-Laws
  • the appointment of both standing and ad hoc committees
  • receiving the Executive Director’s reports
How long is the term of office for Council members and officers?

2 years.

How often does the Council meet?

Monthly, usually on the first Thursday.

How long are the meetings?

Anywhere from one to three hours.

How many vacancies are there each year?

Of the 6 staff seats and 13 freelance seats on Council, 3 staff seats and either 6 or 7 freelance seats are up for election each year (7 in 2020). Candidates run for the seats within their own membership categories. Officer positions are vacated every other year (they are not up for election in 2020).

Who is eligible to run for Council position?

Any member in good standing who has been a member for one year preceding the annual meeting of the Guild (Thursday, September 17, 2020).

How does one get nominated?

On or before May 1, an eblast/mailing to all current members will solicit nominations for Council members (and officers if applicable). Nomination forms are available online. Members may nominate themselves and/or others for Council (and one person for each office).

What does the Election Committee do?

The Election Committee comprises former Council members and is responsible for reviewing, maintaining and recommending election policies and procedures in compliance with labor law.

How does voting occur?

Members may vote online, by mail or in person at the annual meeting on September 17, 2020.

How does the Guild facilitate a candidate’s campaign?
  • Each candidate’s statement will be posted on the Guild’s website as well as the online ballot. An
    eblast will be sent to the membership with a link to all candidates’ statements.  Your statement must be sent to Nancy Hathorne via e-mail ( as a Word attachment, in final form, and received by 11:59pm EDT on July 15, 2020.
  • Each candidate may send out three Guild-facilitated eblasts separate and apart from the Candidate Statem Beyond these three communications, each additional candidate eblast message will incur a $100 administrative fee.
  • A candidate may include an endorsement message written by another member within the body of his or her message. When including endorsement(s) in a mailing, candidates must copy the endorser(s) on the email transmission to Guild staff.
  • Text for eblasts may be sent to the Guild beginning August 5. All eblast messages must be received at the Guild no later than noon on September 4, 2020.
  • In the interest of fairness, on election mailings, all names of endorsers will be listed in alphabetical order and officers and council members will not be listed with their titles.
  • Eblasts will be sent to the membership beginning August 5, 2020, in the order in which they are received at the Guil (An eblast may contain more than one candidate’s message, or group’s message. The Guild sends no more than one election-related eblast per day.) Eblast messages will be sent to the voting membership within two business days of being received by Guild staff.
  • In an eblast, the header will read: WGAE Candidate Message: NAME OF CANDIDATE or WGAE Candidate Messages (with number of messages in parentheses): NAMES OF CANDIDATES.
  • There is no word limit on candidate’s statements or individual campaign eblasts.
  • The Department of Labor election rules prohibit the use of union or employer resources to campaign.  This includes lists and contact information – for example, contact information obtained solely through participation in WGAE activities such as the WGAE Council or a WGAE committee, WGAE Google groups, WGAE Slack, and WGAE Facebook groups. This also includes employer facilitated Google groups, Slack or Facebook groups. Please do not use those resources to campaign for WGAE Council or on behalf of any candidate or against any candidate. If you have any questions about this or any of the above bullets please contact Dana Weissman at (
How does a Guild member challenge an election?

Any post-election objection to the conduct of the election must be presented to the Election Committee in writing within 15 calendar days after the ballot count.  The Election Committee shall investigate the objection and make recommendations to the Council regarding its disposition.  No member may pursue a legal or administrative claim challenging the outcome of an election without first presenting the objection to the Election Committee in accordance with this section.

A Nominees’ Gathering will take place on the evening of June 9, 7pm via Zoom, to familiarize potential candidates with the process of running for and serving on Council.

A Meet the Candidates Town Hall event for all active, current WGAE members to familiarize themselves with the candidates will be held on August 12, 7pm via Zoom.

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