You can't win "respect" as a concession in a collective bargaining agreement, but I know it's something a lot of screenwriters crave, so I thought I'd pass along Jonathan Last's analogy:
Actors are quarterbacks, directors are running backs, and writers are offensive linemen. That's about how they contribute to the product, and how they're paid. And just like it was a welcome change when left tackles finally started being compensated more closely to their value a few years back, I think we should be happy to see writers moved a tiny bit closer to their real value.
Well said. People don't usually have lists of favorite writers the way they do actors or directors, but it should be obvious that without good story and good dialogue, you don't have a good movie.