(March 2018)

Table of Contents

I. INTRODUCTION

  1. Open Committees and CAP
  2. Current Open Committees

II. COMMITTEE STANDARDS AND PRACTICES

  1. Authority
  2. Committee Advisory Panel (CAP)
    1. Mandate
    2. Composition
    3. The CAP Liaison
  3. The Role of Open Committees
    1. Responsibilities
    2. Procedure for Recommendations to the Board
    3. Procedure for Event Requests
    4. Committee Procedures
    5. Formation of New Open Committees
    6. CAP Review of Committees
  4. Committee Membership
    1. WGA Member Status and Eligibility for Committee Involvement
    2. Responsibilities
    3. Restrictions
  5. Election of Committee Officers
  6. Chairperson Responsibilities
    1. Parliamentary Procedure
    2. Annual Committee Caucus
  7. Vice Chair Responsibilities
  8. Committee Staff Liaison Responsibilities
  9. Committee Budgets
  10. Policy on Writing and Other Professional Seminars
  11. Committee Social Media Accounts

III. ACTIVE WGAW CAP COMMITTEES

  1. Open Committees

Guidelines for WGAW CAP and Open Committee

I. Introduction

A. Open Committees and CAP

Open committees support initiatives and priorities set by the WGAW Board of Directors. Committee membership does not require Board appointment.

CAP is the Committee Advisory Panel, a Board-appointed committee that oversees the Guild’s open committees and advises the Board on policy related to those committees.

B. Current Open Committees

CAP has oversight of the following committees:

  1. Activities Committee
  2. Native American & Indigenous Writers Committee (NAIWC)
  3. Asian American Writers Committee (AAWC)
  4. Committee of Black Writers (CBW)
  5. Career Longevity Committee (CLC)
  6. Genre Committee
  7. Latino Writers Committee (LWC)
  8. LGBTQ+ Writers Committee
  9. Committee of Women Writers (CWW)
  10. Writers with Disabilities Committee (WDC)
  11. Writers Education Committee (WEC)

Committee descriptions appear in Part III.

II. COMMITTEE STANDARDS AND PRACTICES

A. Authority

The Board of Directors is the elected governing body of the WGAW. Open committees derive their mandate from the Board. The Board has delegated administrative oversight of all committee activities to the Executive Director.

B. Committee Advisory Panel (CAP)

  1. Mandate

    The Committee Advisory Panel (CAP) is appointed by the Board of Directors to oversee the annual CAP budget; review committee mission statements, plans and activities; approve events and event budgets; recommend new committee creation; combine committees with complementary or similar functions and dissolve non-functioning committees. CAP is responsible to the Board on all matters and the Board must approve new committees or any major committee policy changes.

  2. Composition

    CAP has ten members: four (4) Board members, three (3) at-large Guild members (recommended by CAP), and three (3) open committee chairs (nominated by a caucus of committee chairs). A WGAW staff employee serves as the CAP Liaison.

    CAP is a Board-appointed committee. CAP is led by a chair or two co-chairs (the “CAP chairs”), who are members of the Board of Directors. CAP members serve two-year terms, and may continue to serve upon re-election without terming out. CAP members must be Current Active WGAW members. If at any time a CAP member is no longer in Current Active status, he/she must advise the CAP chairs and the CAP liaison, so that a new member can be appointed by the Board.

  3. The CAP Liaison

    The CAP liaison is appointed by the Executive Director. The liaison coordinates communication between CAP and committees, committee staff liaisons and executive staff. The CAP liaison receives and reviews committee requests via the CAP Form and works with the committee liaisons to facilitate the requests, as well as serves as an intermediary regarding any questions or issues that may arise. The CAP liaison maintains and updates the CAP budget and event requests, and organizes CAP Committee and Caucus meetings, in addition to other tasks assigned by the Executive Director.

C. The Role of Open Committees

  1. Responsibilities

    WGAW open committees are formed to support Guild initiatives and priorities and to carry out actions in their area of responsibility to promote the interests and needs of the membership. It is CAP’s responsibility to assess committee recommendations and to authorize appropriate action under the overall mandate of the Board.

  2. Procedure for Recommendations to the Board

    Committee recommendations for Board consideration within their area of concern shall be sent to the CAP chairs in written form, through the CAP Liaison. If the CAP chairs determine that the Board of Directors should review the recommendation, they will submit a request to the Board officers for the item to be added to the Board agenda.

  3. Procedure for Event Requests

    CAP committee chairs submit one copy of the CAP Form to the CAP liaison, via the designated staff liaison, when planning a committee project or event. Committee staff liaisons should be sure the form is filled out accurately and completely. As much advance notice as possible is helpful, but minimum submission deadline for the CAP Form is 4-6 weeks prior to the date of the event. If an event is less than 4-6 weeks away, consideration and review of the CAP Form will be given at the discretion of the CAP liaison and CAP. CAP Forms can be obtained from the CAP liaison, Inclusion and Equity Department, or committee staff liaisons.

    Once the CAP Form is received, the CAP liaison will submit the form to CAP for approval. Only one request at a time should be submitted. The turn-around time for the response from CAP is forty-eight hours, unless the request is time-sensitive.

  4. Committee Procedures
    1. Meetings

      Each committee must convene a meeting of its members at least two times a year at the WGAW office, with advance notice provided in the Guild calendar and an email invitation to committee members at least three weeks prior to the meeting date. Every committee must have a sign-in sheet present at each meeting and the Committee Chair/Co-Chair should remind committee members to sign in. Each committee member is ultimately responsible to sign the sheet, which helps determine eligibility for email ballots for committee leadership elections.

    2. Committee Ad-Hoc Working Groups

      Committee chairs may designate ad-hoc working groups for short-term special projects. These working groups must have a specific purpose and shall end after the period of time defined at formation or at the end of a project. The working groups report to the open committee and do not operate independently of it (i.e. no ad-hoc representatives at CAP caucus meetings, nor separate ad-hoc budget line item under the CAP annual budget).

  5. Formation of New Open Committees

    The formation of new committees must be recommended by CAP and then approved by the Board of Directors. New committees must serve a useful and distinct function within the parameters of the Constitution of the Guild and priorities of the Board.

  6. CAP Review of Committees

    CAP may perform a review of any committee. Review criteria may include:

    • Conducts regular meetings that include a significant number of committee members;
    • Stays within annual budget;
    • Actively pursues its mission statement goals;
    • Holds elections (required every two years, in even numbered years) to elect leadership;
    • Complies with requirements for producing events.

    If a committee is not adequately complying with the above criteria, the chairs will be asked to explain discrepancies to CAP. CAP shall have the discretion to suggest or require necessary adjustments to improve committee performance, such as altering the meeting schedule, conducting outreach to bring in new members or redefining the committee’s goals.

    If a committee is willfully disregarding the rules as set forth in these Guidelines, CAP shall have the power to call for chair or member dismissals or a reorganization of the committee, with the Board of Directors having final approval.

D. Eligibility to Participate on Committees

  1. WGAW Member Status and Eligibility for Committee Involvement

    Current, Post-Current, Associate, and Associate Caucus members in good standing are eligible to serve on open committees. Individuals in the status of Emeritus, Financial Core, Withdrawn or In Arrears shall not be eligible to participate on open committees.

    Open committees must post meeting times and dates on the website and in the online Guild calendar so members who would like to participate have adequate notice of meetings.

    Members may attend a meeting of a committee of interest to them and indicate their interest in joining to the chair or staff liaison. The CAP liaison will provide a list of open committees upon member request and maintain a current list of committees and contact information of the Guild’s website.

  2. Responsibilities

    It is the responsibility of the individual committee member to attend meetings, study agenda items, and contribute his or her own ideas to the committee’s deliberative process. Committee members who display disruptive behavior during committee meetings or events may be asked to leave by the chair or staff liaison and may, in extreme circumstances, be removed from the committee with the approval of CAP.

  3. Restrictions

    Committee members and leadership may not:

    1. Negotiate on behalf of the Guild with third parties, but may conduct general outreach to potential partners or sponsors upon prior consultation with CAP Liaison;
    2. Distribute or accept compensation or items of value in the course of committee service or events, with the exception of distributing prizes that are part of the activity and are previously approved via the CAP form. Receipts for budgeted expenses incurred will be reimbursed through the staff liaison.

E. Election of Committee Leadership

  1. Each committee will be led by either a single chair or a maximum of two co-chairs. Chairs must be Current Active members, and must have attended at least one committee meeting during the previous year to be eligible.
    1. If there is either one candidate running for chair or two candidates running for co-chairs, he/she or they will be deemed elected without the necessity of a vote. If there is more than one candidate running for chair, or two for co-chairs, each voting member may vote for up to as many candidates as there are positions. The candidate(s) with the most votes become co-chairs.
    2. If there are no Current Active members nominated, committee members who are Post Current or Associate in good standing and have attended at least one committee meeting during the previous year may be nominated and serve if elected.
  2. A Committee may elect one vice chair who is a Current, Post Current, or Associate member in good standing, and has attended at least one committee meeting in the previous year. This office may be vacant if no one chooses to run. The vice chair conducts committee meetings in the absence of a chair.
  3. Elections for CAP committee leadership are mandatory and should be conducted in the following manner each even-numbered year. Nominations for Chair(s) and Vice Chair will be accepted during each committee’s March/April meeting (an email will be sent to all committee members with nomination and election rules two weeks in advance), and elections will be conducted during each May/June meeting. Nominations will be made at the committee meeting, and additional nominations will be accepted for three weeks following the meeting via email to the committee’s staff liaison. Members may nominate themselves or another eligible member. An email announcing the upcoming election committee and the nominated candidates will be sent to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the May/June election meeting.
  4. If a single committee Chair or Vice Chair resigns or is removed by the Board in the course of a two-year term, a new election will be conducted at the next committee meeting which allows time for nominations and election as outlined above. If a Committee Co-Chair resigns or is removed in the course of a two-year term, the remaining Co-Chair shall become the Chair for the rest of the term. For any period during which a Committee does not have a Chair, the Vice-Chair will act as Chair until the new election and. if there is no Vice Chair, CAP will appoint a temporary Chair to conduct committee business prior to election.
  5. Eligible members who are either present at the committee meeting at which the election takes place, or whose names appear on a committee meeting sign-in sheet during the calendar year prior to the election date, may vote in a committee leadership election.

    Elections will be conducted via an email ballot sent at least five days prior to the election meeting to all committee members who appear on committee sign-in sheets during the previous calendar year, as well as by secret ballot at the committee election meeting. Paper ballots will be counted during the election meeting, and added to the survey poll numbers by the staff liaison and a committee member who is not running for office. Results will be announced at the meeting, and those elected will take office at the end of the meeting. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be held during the election meeting.

F. Chairperson Responsibilities

  1. Parliamentary Procedure

    The chair (including co-chairs) leads committee meetings, and is expected to have a reasonable knowledge of parliamentary procedure as outlined in Roberts Rules of Order to be applied when the occasion warrants. A ruling of the chair is final. A committee meeting should, however, be informal in nature. The chair should encourage individual discussion leading to a consensus before calling for a vote. The chair is expected to make an effort to elicit an expression of opinion from every member of a committee on a key issue before voting. The chair has a right to expect common courtesy from committee members, toward the chair and toward each other. The first order of business of any committee is to set a target date for accomplishment of its work. At the end of each meeting, the chair, in collaboration with the committee staff liaison, will set the date, time and place for the next meeting. A chair may speak on either side of a discussion, but may not vote except to break a tie. In no event will a chair use his/her office, or permit others to use parliamentary devices, to suppress reasonable debate or dissent.

  2. Committee Caucus

    In order to encourage and facilitate communication and cooperation among Guild committees, a caucus of all committee chairs will be held at least once per year, during which committee chairs and vice chairs can share achievements and concerns of the past year and formulate common goals, agendas and plans. In odd numbered years, the caucus will nominate three chairs to represent committees on CAP. The caucus meeting will be an annual review of events and their agenda items as determined by the CAP Chair(s).

G. Vice Chair Responsibilities

The vice chair will:

a. Chair committee meetings when the chair is unavailable;

b. Chair working groups as requested;

A vice chair may not function in the place of the chair in the discharge of the chair’s duties to CAP.

H. Committee Staff Liaison Responsibilities

A Guild staff member is assigned to each committee to serve as liaison, and will attend committee meetings, help coordinate committee activities and serve as a resource to the committee. The chair will contact the Staff Liaison to establish meeting dates, agendas, or address other items of importance.

The staff liaison is responsible for notifying the CAP liaison in writing of any changes in committee membership or officers as they occur, so that Guild records may be kept current.

The staff liaison should ensure that each CAP Form is accurate and complete.

I. Committee Budgets

The CAP/open committee annual budget is part of the WGAW’s annual operating budget. CAP allocates each committee’s yearly budget based on the needs and projects of the committee. Each committee’s spending is reviewed quarterly by CAP, and an annual CAP budget proposal is recommended by CAP in March of each fiscal year. The budget recommendation is submitted to the Membership and Finance Committee, which then sends the overall operating budget to the Board of Directors for final approval. Budgeted but unused funds at the end of a fiscal year do not carry over for use in the next fiscal year: any exceptions must be cleared through CAP and the Guild’s Finance Department in advance.

Each committee’s budget has two components: one covering events and projects, and the other covering food for committee meetings.

Although budget allocations may have been made for special events and projects based on committees’ plans for the fiscal year, CAP approval per CAP Form submission is still required before proceeding with event planning. If during the fiscal year, a committee wishes to request additional resources for a specific event, the committee chair should contact the designated staff liaison. A proposal should then be submitted to the CAP liaison, who will forward it to CAP for further review and approval.

The Guild’s Operations Department can assist with providing drinks and other necessary resources (e.g. plates, cups, and utensils), ordering food, and making arrangements for pickup or delivery. However, committee members and staff liaisons should be available to set up refreshments prior to the meeting, assist with check-in, or other logistics as needed. Following the event, committees and their liaisons are responsible for general clean-up.

J. Policy on Writing and other Professional Seminars

  1. The WGAW does not endorse or promote any approach, method, theory, or system of screenwriting. 2. The WGAW does not endorse or promote any individual teacher or school of screenwriting. 3. No Guild committee, department or individual shall take any action with contravenes the foregoing policy. 4. In recognition of the desire of some members of the Guild and public to attend lectures and presentations by teachers of screenwriting, Guild committees and departments may, when appropriate to their mandates, produce programs and events wherein individuals present their views and theories on screenwriting and screenwriting methodology, so long as:
    1. Such individuals are given a copy of this policy; and
    2. Such individuals agree in writing in advance of any publication of the event or program in which they are to appear, that they will not thereafter state orally or by any other means, that they or their approaches to screenwriting, or other professional advice are in any way endorsed or approved by the WGAW; and
    3. All publicity or promotional materials for any such program or event, including the monthly calendar, shall contain the following statement:
      1. The WGAW does not endorse or promote any “approach” “method”, “theory”, or “system” of screenwriting.
      2. The WGAW does not endorse or promote any individual teacher or school of screenwriting.
    4. No such speaker shall be paid a fee or honorarium by the Writers Guild, its committees or members, in exchange for leading any screenwriting seminar or seminars.
    5. The WGAW name or logo may not be used by the individual(s) in any advertising or promotional material related to their program or seminars, i.e., as a client; or implying Guild support of their methods.
    6. In addition, the WGAW does not endorse the products or services of event sponsors or panelists who provide other types of professional advice, products, or services. The policies outlined in a-e apply to those individuals and companies as well.

K. Committee Social Media Accounts

  1. Each committee may have up to three social media pages, which should be kept private and limited to Guild members only.
  2. Committee chair(s) or their appointee will act as administrator for committee’s social media account(s), and the committee staff liaison must have administrative access to each social media account at all times.
  3. Social media pages are for sharing information related to WGAW committees only. Social media pages may not be used for campaigning or promoting the candidacy of any candidate in an internal WGAW election. Any posts that are off-topic or inappropriate may be removed at the discretion of the administrator or staff. Individuals who repeatedly make off-topic or inappropriate posts will be banned.

III. ACTIVE WGAW CAP COMMITTEES

  1. Open Committees

    Listed below are the Guild’s open CAP committees as of February 1, 2018. Open committees are open to Current (CR; including Lifetime Current), Associate (AS), Post-Current (PC), and Associate Caucus (AC) members in good standing.

    Activities Committee

    This committee organizes social events and programs (e.g. sporting events, game tournaments, hikes, etc). Builds “community and family” within the Membership.

    Native American & Indigenous Writers Committee

    The NAIWC represents the professional and creative interests of Native American and Indigenous writers. It works to mentor, encourage, empower and increase the visibility of employment of writers of Native American and Indigenous heritage, and serves as a cultural and educational resource for all Guild member-writers seeking to portray Native American and Indigenous Peoples in their work.

    Asian American Writers Committee

    This committee actively represents the professional and creative interests of Asian American Guild members. Its mandate is to be dedicated to the encouragement, empowerment and employment of writers of Asian heritage.

    Committee of Black Writers

    The Committee of Black Writers is dedicated to empowering and increasing industry visibility of African-American writers and generating more career and networking opportunities.

    Career Longevity Committee

    The mission of the Career Longevity Committee is to assist writers of all ages in planning for long and successful careers by giving the tools and knowledge to adapt to changes in the marketplace.

    Genre Committee

    The Genre Committee was formed with the sole purpose of attracting writers interested in a certain genre to meet, discuss and exchange information in a peer-to-peer setting. Our mission is to push education, diversity and camaraderie amongst all writers no matter their background. The Committee welcomes all writers because writers work in all genres.

    LGBTQ+ Writers Committee

    This committee seeks to represent the interests of its constituency as a resource to all writers seeking to portray gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in their work. The committee also wishes to provide cultural and educational opportunities for WGAW members to nurture an understanding of how sexual orientation affects the lives of writers. The committee provides networking and social activities enabling the WGAW membership to better know one another and to create a greater demand for the writing services of LGBTQ+ writers. The committee wishes to create a greater awareness within the Guild of sexual orientation as a minority and, where appropriate, to articulate instances of homophobia and/or discrimination within our industry. Finally, the committee encourages all gay and lesbian members of the WGAW to become more involved in all aspects of Guild activities.

    Latino Writers Committee

    This committee actively represents the professional, creative, social and economic interests of Latino Guild members. Its mandate is to encourage Latino writers to become more active within the Guild; and to raise the profile and perception of Latino writers in the industry at large by creating forums that foster networking, collaboration, education, information exchange, employment opportunities and creative expression.

    Committee of Women Writers

    This committee represents the interests of female WGAW writers who are seeking WGA-covered work. We sponsor events designed to increase our knowledge on the craft and the marketplace, discuss the role of women as storytellers and foster networking and collaboration between women in all Guilds, as well as increase opportunities for education, employment opportunities and creative expression. Our goal is to empower all writers and improve the profile and perception of Women writers in the industry.

    Writers Education Committee

    The Writers Education Committee (WEC) has a broad mandate to develop programs that provide WGA members with practical, inside knowledge about how the industry works and how it is changing, emphasizing tips and tools to help writers succeed. The goal is working knowledge for writers.

    Writers with Disabilities Committee

    This Committee seeks to enhance the visibility and employment of writers with all types of disabilities, and encourage, celebrate, and endorse accurate portrayals of the disabled in all areas of the media. We also serve as an expert resource for all issues related to the disabled community.