SAG-AFTRA Members Vote to Approve Interactive Media Video Game Agreement
In national voting completed today, members of SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly to approve the successor to the Interactive Media Video Game Agreement by a vote of 90 percent to 10 percent. The terms of the tentative agreement, which was reached on September 22, include a new bonus structure that provides additional payments to performers based on number of sessions worked. The bonus payments, which are due no later than the release date of the game, begin with an additional $75 payment on the first session and totaling $2,100 after 10 sessions worked.The deal also contains new transparency provisions that will enhance the bargaining power of our members' representatives by requiring the companies to disclose the code name of project, its genre, whether the game is based on previously published intellectual property and whether the performer is reprising a prior role. Members are also protected by the disclosure of whether they will be required to use unusual terminology, profanity or racial slurs, whether there will be content of a sexual or violent nature and whether stunts will be required. In addition, the deal includes an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue of vocal stress during the term of the agreement. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, "This agreement is the first step towards streamlining the work our members do in the video game industry. The deal includes significant improvements in the area of transparency and the payment structure ensures that our members are compensated fairly for their work. I am excited for what this means for our members moving forward." Says SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White, "I'd like to thank our Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez as well as our Interactive Negotiating Committee for leading these negotiations. This negotiation was hard fought and hard won. We achieved a stronger successor agreement and I am proud of the results." Adds Keythe Farley, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Interactive Negotiating Committee, "The bonus payments we asked for are now part of the video game industry and are a base from which to build upon. I'm excited for all that we have achieved." The agreement does not include several proposals sought by management, including a provision that would have fined performers for being late or distracted at session, another that would have required agents to submit performers for low-paying "atmospheric voice" sessions or face fines and a possible revocation of their union franchise, and another that would have allowed employers to use their permanent staff to do covered work outside of the collective bargaining agreement. Informational voting cards were mailed to approximately 7,200 affected members of SAG-AFTRA, of which 10 percent voted. The final vote was certified by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington. The agreement becomes effective November 8, 2017 and expires November 7, 2020. The National Board unanimously approved the tentative agreement on October 9, 2017, ending a strike against 11 video game companies that began on October 21, 2016. About SAG-AFTRA SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.