By Zona Marie Tan
The Australian Writers Guild (AWG) has put up an announcement to its members today to be wary of signing any children’s television writing contracts without first seeking their advice.
In an email to its members, it said that "the current terms and conditions being offered by SPAA in our negotiations are disgracefully low and as a result we are currently investigating all our industrial options."
The AWG advised all its members, in the meantime, to call on the its legal and industrial resources to "ensure fair and appropriate treatment".
It will be publishing a list of children’s television producers who meet AWG minimum terms and conditions and a list of producers who do not, at a later date.
A spokesperson at the AWG told INSIDEFILM: "At this stage we are just providing advice to our members as too many producers are currently offering unfair and exploitative terms and conditions to writers of children’s television. The promise of good faith negotiations, to address the mini-series loophole which allowed this exploitation to take place, happen has not transpired.
"As a result we have undertaken research on the terms being offered by a vast array of producers and we want to ensure our members are well informed and well advised before entering into new contracts for 2009. There is enough good quality work being offered by fair producers to allow us to recommend that our writers simply refuse to work for producer’s offering substandard conditions."