While there are encouraging signs that an IATSE strike could be avoided with a last-minute deal made before the midnight on Sunday deadline, preparation for a potential work stoppage continues in all areas involving IATSE members, including writers rooms.
Writers’ Assistants — whose low wages were part of the impetus for the #PayUpHollywood movement — as well as Script Coordinators are generally IATSE members, working alongside WGA-affiliated writers and non-union employees. In anticipation of a possible IATSE strike, a group of Writers’ Assistants and Script Coordinators, members of Local 871, today posted detailed guidelines for how their duties should be handled in case of a work stoppage that would affect all shows working under The Basic Agreement. (It excludes series for pay TV networks HBO, Showtime and Starz).
Noone could replace a Writer’s Assistant in taking “room” notes, with writers allowed to individually take their notes but not share them. Showrunner’s Assistants’ responsibility of taking notes during Production/Studio/Network Notes Calls also cannot be reassigned.
Showrunners are supposed to assume all responsibilities of their Script Coordinators, including sending written materials to the Studio/Network/Streamer and any other non-IATSE Production Staff, upload and/or distribute scripts through various online production hubs, prepare a script for production and subsequent revisions. The showrunner and credited writer(s) of an episode will have to proofread all written material, interact with the Legal/Clearance Department as well as Standards and Practices.
The document also outlines consequences from scabbing.