Los Angeles (June 21, 2005) --- The National Executive Committee of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today voted to formally reject a new Interactive Media contract negotiated with video game companies. SAG’s current three-year Interactive contract expired on May 13, 2005. SAG’s National Executive Committee had been designated by the Guild national board to consider the tentative agreement, which was reached on June 8.
The agreement had been jointly negotiated with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). AFTRA’s National Administrative Committee approved the deal last week, and it will go into effect for their members on July 1, 2005.
“The video game market has grown to be enormously profitable, and our members have played a tremendous role in generating those profits,” said SAG National Executive Director/CEO Greg Hessinger. “The bargaining committee and staff of Screen Actors Guild worked extremely hard over the course of many months to negotiate fairer terms and conditions for the actors who do this work. While the tentative agreement they reached included several key gains, the Guild’s National Executive Committee has made the final determination that this proposal was not enough. We will now explore our options.”
Negotiations on new Interactive Media Agreements began between the unions and video game companies in February 2005, before breaking off on May 13 when a strike authorization vote was called. Before the authorization vote tally was concluded on June 8, a tentative agreement between the producers and unions was reached. That tentative agreement would have covered the next three-and-a-half years, and included a 36 percent increase in minimum pay over the term as well as increases in benefit contributions. However, the producers refused the unions’ demands for implementation of a residual model that would allow actors to share in the enormous revenues generated by the video games they perform in.