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SAG-AFTRA Members Ratify Three-Year Video Game Contract

Members of SAG-AFTRA have voted overwhelmingly to approve a three-year successor deal to the Interactive Media Video Game Agreement with 90% in support.

The union and the video game industry reached an agreement in late September to end the nearly year-long strike by the union. SAG-AFTRA held four raucous rallies after launching a strike on Oct. 21, 2016, against 11 of the top American video game producers, developers, and publishers. Informational voting cards were mailed to approximately 7,200 affected members of SAG-AFTRA, of which 10% voted.

The terms of the agreement 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 total $2,100 after 10 sessions worked.

The deal also contains new transparency provisions that the union said will enhance the bargaining power of the 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.

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.”

Keythe Farley, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Interactive Negotiating Committee, said, “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 becomes effective Nov. 8 and expires on Nov. 7, 2020. The national board unanimously approved the tentative agreement on Oct. 9.

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