SAG toon’d in on tube in new deal

Guild's vidgame jurisdiction still in limbo

SAG has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers on a new three-year contract covering TV animation production.

New agreement includes a 9% hike in minimums for voiceover talent over the life of the contract, including a 3% increase in minimum pay effective retroactively to July 1, and a 1% boost in contributions to the union’s benefits plans, beginning Jan. 1.

Member earnings are not separately reported for TV animation work, but the pact demands that producers recommend the trustees of the union’s pension and health plans create a method to track earnings. Such data would be helpful to the guild for future organizing and negotiations.

SAG also granted producers the right to theatrically exhibit TV animation shorts for one week to qualify for Academy Awards consideration.

In a statement, SAG chief exec Greg Hessinger said the guild was looking forward to beginning talks with the industry on new basic cable agreements.

“Our focus in those talks will be on the residual structures for live action and animation programming on basic cable,” said Hessinger, “where the terms covering such work have lagged behind the explosive growth of those platforms for too long.”

Negotiations between SAG and AMPTP on a new TV animation agreement began in May.

Meanwhile, SAG plans to hold a caucus with TV animation performers Tuesday at guild headquarters in Hollywood to report on the terms of the tentative agreement. Proposed contract goes to the SAG national board for ratification at their plenary on July 30.

Negotiating committee was represented by Anne Talltree, the guild’s chief negotiator for TV animation.

Vidgames still in limbo

Meanwhile, SAG’s leaders are still in limbo about whether the guild will retain jurisdiction over the $7 billion vidgame biz.

Last week, the guild’s national board voted to send a proposed agreement — rejected by SAG’s national executive committee two weeks ago — to members who work the vidgame industry. Should the vidgame contract ballot measure fail (it contains a 36% pay hike but no residuals — a major sticking point with the SAG Hollywood board), AFTRA would retain sole jurisdiction over vidgames.

SAG’s vidgame ballots, which the union’s board decided will carry no recommendation, go out July 13 and are due back July 28.

Vidgame publishers, for their part, have agreed to extend their offer until July 31.

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