Showbizreporting's Blog

October 20, 2009

AFTRA, SAG and Video Game Industry Reach Tentative Agreements on New Contracts

AFTRA, SAG and Video Game Industry Reach Tentative Agreements on New Contracts
Entertainment DeskOctober 02, 2009Los Angeles (October 2, 2009) — Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) today announced they have reached tentative agreements with video game companies on new contracts. The agreements — which become effective upon ratification and remain in full force until March 30, 2011 – achieve parity between the AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild contracts and include contemporaneous expiration dates of March 30, 2011.

In addition, the contracts deliver a 3 percent wage increase upon ratification for SAG, thereby bringing SAG´s wages into parity with AFTRA´s, and another 2.5 percent increase on April 1, 2010, for both unions. Both pacts contain increases in benefit contributions and a liquidated damages provision to incentivize employers to give notice of vocally stressful work.

The contracts also establish a new category of performance for “atmospheric voices” that is designed to increase work opportunities for union performers by allowing Producers the flexibility to record multiple minor character voices in a single session. The agreements also establish a cap of $125,000 on contributions to the AFTRA Health and Retirement and SAG Pension and Health funds. The cap will only apply to performers who are paid more than $125,000 by a single producer in a single year for work done on the same game franchise.

The tentative agreements must be approved by Screen Actors Guild´s National Board of Directors and the AFTRA Administrative Commitee, both of which will meet in the coming weeks.

Highlights of these agreements include:

>> The achievement of parity between the SAG and AFTRA contracts including contemporaneous expiration on March 30, 2011.

>> A 3% wage increase for Screen Actors Guild members upon ratification and additional 2.5% increase on April 1, 2010, for both unions.

>> A .5% increase in the pension and health contribution rate for Screen Actors Guild member effective upon ratification and another .2% on January 1, 2010, for both unions (bringing the total rate to 15%).

>> The establishment of a $100 liquidated damage for failure to give notice of vocally stressful work.

>> An agreement to develop during the term of the contract a set of guidelines for conducting vocally stressful work.

Screen Actors Guild is the nation´s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists´ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 120,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors´ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists´ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audiobooks, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com.

http://www.losangeleschronicle.com/articles/view/121932

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